I Can't Back Squat, So I Switched to Front Squats

When I was the college, I had one mindset about training my legs. Getting strong as much as possible with little to no attention to detail or proper form. The approach to the reaching max gains was to hit the usual bro science routines often. By the time I was out of school, I had injured myself. One day during my 4th year, I was back squatting and I felt a tightness in the lower right side. I thought it was a just a muscle strain that I would recover from, but the following day, I could barely walk. I remember crawling to go up my stairs because the pain in my lower was back was just so great.

I couldn't afford to go the the doctor, so the next best thing was doing research online and self diagnosing. From what I could find, I either had a severe pinched nerve and/or a herniated disk. I remembered not properly warming up for the workout that day and having bad form all the way through. The initial pain lasted for about 3 weeks and that meant hurting on the walks to class and having to take some time off the gym to recover. Once the pain went away, I tried some back exercises a few months afterwards, but stayed away from back squatting. A few months later, I was feeling confident and went hard on some squats and power cleans. I experienced the same back pain from the first injury but with less intensity. I rested for a few weeks and felt as tough I had healed. About a year later after no more back pain, I was feeling confident and thought I would try to back squat after a very good gym day. The crumbling lower back pain came rushing back and I was out for another 3 weeks with the same symptoms as the first time. I swore off back squatting forever that day.

I began watching fitness videos on the internet, especially YouTube, to get learn how to lift with proper form on all exercises. Even though I had sworn off back squats, I learned how the front squat could even be more of a benefit. I started slow and light and found myself lifting more weight in the front rack than I was with the back rack when I hurt myself. I'm lucky that I didn't injure myself enough that I required a hospital visit. Even though I'm not able to back squat like the next stronger guy in the gym, I'm able to leverage the front squat and get stronger in a different way by working out different muscle groups. Changing and pivoting is sometimes very beneficial in life. Don't get down if you can't do what the next person can do. You can find a way to do it differently by adding your own tweak to it.