Back Popped While Squatting- How to Relief the Pain?

Looking to have a stronger lower body, you are doing squats. And then suddenly you hear a loud pop in your back followed by sharp pain. 

You’re not the first with this injury, it happens to even the best of us.

So why did your back pop and what to do when your back popped while squatting?

Your back popped while squatting because your form was not good. When facet joints in the spine are moved, the lower makes a popping sound. You hear a sound because the joint moves out of or back into position. When this happens, stop squatting. Resume after visiting a doctor and a professional.

That’s a gist about the reasons and remedy of a back popping doing squat. In the article, you will have it discussed in detail. 

Continue reading to know about it all.

Why Did My Back Pop While Doing Squat

You’re sitting with pain in your lower back wondering why your back cracked while squatting? Allow us to explain why that happened. 

You do deadlift training, and your upper back popped while squatting. it’s because your weight is too heavy. If you pack too much weight, your spine has to work harder to support your back.

Bad Form During Squat

Squatting is a well-rounded exercise that engages a lot of muscles at once. And this is why you really need to see your form when you are doing squats. 

Misplacement of your feet, and how you are going down can trigger back injury while squatting. 

And bad form is the most common reason for back injury when squatting. Take a look at the image below to see if your form is off.

Source: CNET 


If your BMI is over 25, it means your weight is not proportional to your height. Categorizing the weight as overweight. 

An overweight or obese person is more susceptible to back injury while doing squats. Because the extra weight can put more stress on your back muscles during squats. 

Even though your form may be correct. It’s your body is not trained enough to carry the weight during engaging exercises like squats.

So, watch your weight before you do squats. Manage your body weight to avoid injury during squats. 

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Sacroiliac Joint Dysfunction

The “SI joint,” which joins the hip bone to the spine, is sometimes referred to as sacroiliac joint dysfunction. 

With frequent squats or deadlifting, you could have this function. Especially when utilizing improper form that results in uneven pressures across the pelvis. 

The SI joint dysfunction can also cause your deadlift to be weaker than squats

And this can occasionally become locked or misplaced, resulting in a popping sound in your back. 

Abnormal Physical Characteristics

When the bottom few spine bones are aberrant, it is known as Bertolotti’s syndrome. 

Usually, the bones are fused together or attached loosely. This could alter the force distribution during weightlifting movements like squatting. 

Few people have long legs, tight knees, tight ankles as well, or light bone density. These physical abnormalities can also result in a cracked back while doing squats.

Back Popped During Squatting: How To Recover

Squats should only be performed if your lower back doesn’t hurt. If it does, stop and get checked out. A minor discomfort could later develop into a catastrophic injury. Don’t try to push through the discomfort when working out. 

Here’s how to recover from a back injury while squatting – 

  • If your lower back is protesting, don’t push it. Stop squatting and take a break. You could stop the workout altogether and focus on a different group of muscles. Always listen to your body and never push through sharp pain. 
  • Adjust your technique before you resume. Avoid arching your back, and evenly distribute your weight.
  • If the pain is too much, stay on bed rest. The pain usually subsides within 1-2 weeks if there’s no other injury.
  • Consult a doctor for medicine and recovery exercises. Try to do some stretching. 
  • Speak with a medical expert, like a physiotherapist or personal trainer. A trainer can help you incorporate squats into your workout program effectively and modify your technique.
  • If your core strength is a problem, you need to start with a simpler exercise plan. You can advance far more quickly with an expert on your side than you’d by yourself.

How To Squat Properly To Avoid Back Popping

You might want to reconsider how you’re going about this exercise if you experience pain. Here are some methods for preventing lower abdominal pain caused by squats.

Before moving to the techniques of doing squats properly, avoid the common mistakes in your form. 

Can You Break Your Back Doing Squats?

It’s not common but you can break your back if you are careless. 

Squatting without using any equipment has no risk of damaging your back. Say if you deadlift or use other equipment while doing squats. There is a risk of damaging your back when you use the equipment.

If you’re lifting excessive weight on your shoulder, being careless with your form can be dangerous.

Common Mistakes While Doing Squats

Here are some of the common mistakes beginners make while doing squats. 

  • Bending the hips forward.
  • Failing to engage the core before starting the exercise.
  • Putting the burden on the toes.
  • Knees that are allowed to sag inward are referred to as “kissy knees” by Kepler.
  • Not laying the feet flat on the ground.
  • Squats are not low enough.

Professionals can also make these mistakes occasionally so you must be careful. 

Before Doing a Workout, Warm-up

Before working out, warm up to maintain your health and prevent injuries. Your muscles may not function as well if they are cold. Which could put a strain on your lower back.

The warm-up encourages the heart to pump more blood to the working muscles. Your muscles can contract and relax more easily as they receive more blood and oxygen. According to research, a sufficient warm-up increases workout performance by 79%.

Select The Appropriate Squat Variation

Squats vary greatly from one another. Others should only be attempted by seasoned lifters, while some are excellent for novices. Instead of starting with heavy barbell squats, consider performing some basic bodyweight squats first. 

Choosing different squat variations will help you avoid back injury.

When you make the decision to advance, pay attention to how your lower back is doing. Never subject your body to tremendous pain. Even powerful athletes require recuperation time and brief workouts to avoid injury.

Build More Muscles In Your Lower Back

If your squatting technique isn’t ideal, you can avoid back pain with stronger lower back muscles. You can strengthen these muscles by doing workouts like these, for instance:

  • Bridges
  • Knee to chest stretches
  • Stretches that rotate the lower back
  • Groin tilts
  • Cat extends
  • Curls in parts

By incorporating these exercises into your fitness plan, you may address your body’s visible deficiencies. and it will also lower your risk of suffering a back injury.

Strong lower back muscles can help you avoid postural abnormalities. Which includes daily aches and pains, and back pain from squats.

Alternatives For Those Who Can’t Squat

For those who can not squat for different reasons, the following exercises are alternatives.

Additionally, these are great assistance exercises. These are for those who can squat but need to work on their weaknesses or want variety.

  • Squats with a trap bar
  • Split Squats with the Back Foot Raised
  • Weighted Hip Thrusts
  • Heavy Step Ups
  • Step-Downs and Squats with One Leg
  • Squatting Skater
  • Glass Squats

These exercises are great for both people who can’t squat and for people who can. They will help you build leg and back muscles.


Who Should Not Do Squats?

People with fresh injuries and recovering from injuries should not do Squats. If you have weak knees, refrain from doing squats. And people with unusual physical characteristics, with tight ankles, can have a hard time doing squats. There are alternative workouts that they can do in place of squats.

Should I Stop Squatting If My Lower Back Hurts?

Squats are suggested as a full-body strengthening exercise in some physical treatment plans for patients. For those who have had lumbar spine injuries. Squats can help you retrain and mend your muscles. Squats help better if you’ve mostly recovered from the injury but still experience a dull ache.

Do Squats Make Your back stronger?

Squats make your back stronger, lessen low back pain, and maintain good posture. Back squats engage more of the muscles that support your back, according to a 2018 study. The study compared core muscle activation during a plank versus back squats. Moreover, Squats also help you balance better.


That’s all you need to know when your back popped while squatting. Now you know what to do when your back pops and the remedies to recover. 

Hopefully, the article helps you to heal from the injuries you sustained. From now on, be careful when you do squats.

Good Luck!

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