How can I prevent low-back stiffness when I do squats?

First, talk to a certified fitness professional to make sure your form is correct. You may be performing the squat with improper mechanics such as excessively arching your lower back. Arching your low back can increase compressive forces on the discs of your spine, potentially increasing pain and likelihood of injury. In addition, if you are performing the barbell squat exercise with heavy loads (heavy weight), the small muscles that help to stabilize your spine may not have adequate strength to help stabilize/support your spine during this exercise. It may be best to reduce the amount of weight you are using. In addition, incorporating some core stabilization exercises such as the ball bridge, prone iso-ab (plank), and opposite arm/opposite leg reach (bird dog) will strengthen the muscles that help stabilize your spine. Lastly, after you finish your squats make sure you perform a comprehensive cool down. This can include foam rolling for the calves, inner thighs, outer thighs, and quadriceps, and static stretching for your calves, inner thighs, quadriceps, and hip flexors.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.