Why Low Bar Squats Hurt Your Wrist And Cause Pain

Strength Training 3 min Read

Written by

Keith Hansen

If you find yourself with some wrist pain from low bar squats you are not alone as this is a common complaint from newbies. Wrist pain can most likely be fixed by tweaking your form.

And don’t worry, you don’t have weak wrists.

This wrist pain can be manifested in a few different spots, and each spot means something different.

In this article, I will cover what it means when your wrist hurts in a specific location, why it hurts, and how you can alleviate the discomfort.

If you find low bar squats are causing pain in other joints, be sure to check out The Serious Guide on How to Low Bar Squat.

Wrist pain near the thumb

Why it hurts

If your wrist hurts near the thumb side it’s usually because your grip is too wide. The angle created by your forearm is too much and will “pinch” the tissues in that location of the joint. The two pictures below show a grip that is too wide. 

The Fix

Move your grip closer.

Wrist Pain IN the back of the hand

Why it hurts

This hurts because the angle created between your hand and forearm is too acute. The bones put pressure on each other and voila, discomfort. Check out the pictures below to see how too narrow of a grip forces the wrists to bend back too far to allow the bar into the correct position on the back.

The Fix

Engage your wrists. This simply means actively try to flex your wrist by engaging your forearm and moving your palm in the direction of your face so there is less pressure on your joint.

WRIST PAIN In THE BACK OF THE HAND #2

WHY IT HURTS

Another reason you can have pain in the back of the wrist is because the bar is too low on your back. This will happen if you allow the bar to slide below your rear delts, and this puts a lot of pressure on the wrist.

THE FIX

Ensure you have the bar placed correctly on your back. This is just below the upper trap, atop the rear delt.

Correct grip width, bar placement, and wrist alignment

The right grip width is one that allows you to place the bar just below your upper traps, atop your rear delts, while engaging your wrists without causing joint pain.

When you are new to low bar squatting you may have some discomfort in the wrists, but there should not be pain. A good low bar squat position is very tight and secure, and it can feel uncomfortable at first.

The two pictures below show good low bar placement &  technique.

Extra Tip to fix wrist pain

If your wrists are still sensitive because you’re new to low bar squatting, or they’re still in pain from an incorrect grip, you can alleviate most of the pain by applying pressure to the joint.

The best way to do this is to use wrist wraps, and I’ll show you exactly how to wear them in the video below.

If you still have questions about the low bar squat, or other pain points, visit the Serious Guide to the Low Bar Squat for more information.

Strong wrists start with strong forearms.

If you want to strengthen your weak wrists, check out our six best exercises to build bigger forearms.

Keith Hansen

Keith was an All-State wrestler in high school and in 2007 hung up his singlet to attend Florida State University to pursue a B.S. in business management. He wasn't sure what industry he wanted to be involved in at the time, but soon realized after graduating in 2011 that fitness was the ever-constant activity in his life. Keith began studying to become a personal trainer and in 2013 earned the National Strength and Conditioning Association's Personal Trainer certification. After a short stint as a big box gym trainer he realized he wanted to bring something different to Tallahassee. Keith competes in Powerlifting, Olympic Weightlifting, and Crossfit.