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Ensuring Lower Back Stability After 40: The Front Squat Hold Test

lucent fitness blog front squat hold test title

Ensuring Lower Back Stability After 40: The Front Squat Hold Test


This blog will explore one practical way to assess lower back stability and strength by the front squat hold test. The lower back stability and strength is vital for daily life and pain-free movements. Assessing the strength and find the strategies for preventing lower back problems.

As we age, the lumbar spine and its surrounding muscles, which are crucial for stabilizing our posture and serving as a power transfer hub, can become sources of instability and pain. For those above 40, addressing lower back issues is not just about alleviating discomfort but about maintaining a foundation for overall physical health. One practical way to assess lower back stability and strength is through the front squat hold test or its accessible variant, the goblet squat hold. This blog will explore these tests, their significance, and strategies for preventing lower back problems.


Understanding Lower Back Stability and Strength


The lower back plays a pivotal role in everyday movements, from lifting and carrying objects to simply standing and sitting. Its health is instrumental in our quality of life, particularly as we age. Lower back instability and pain can severely limit mobility, reduce functionality, and diminish the joy of active living.


The Front Squat Hold Test: A Benchmark for Back Health


The front squat hold test is an excellent indicator of the strength and stability of your lower back, as well as your core. Here’s how it works:


Performing the Front Squat Hold Test


1. Weight Selection: Choose a weight that is half of your body weight. This will be held at the front of your body during the test.

2. Positioning: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the weight (a barbell for the front squat hold or a kettlebell/dumbbell for the goblet squat hold) close to your chest.

3. The Hold: Squat down to a position where your thighs are parallel to the ground, keeping the weight steady in front of you. Maintain this position.

4. The Goal: Holding this position for 30 seconds is considered a benchmark for adequate lower back strength and stability. If you can hold longer than 45 seconds, you're super strong.


lucent fitness the front SQ hold test scores

Substituting with the Goblet Squat Hold


For those who may not have access to a barbell or prefer a slightly different challenge, the goblet squat hold serves as an excellent substitute test, following the same principles and goals.


Preventing Lower Back Problems


Lower back stability and strength are vital, but prevention of issues is equally crucial. Here are several strategies to help safeguard your lower back:


·         Enhance Hip Mobility and Flexibility


Tight hip flexors and limited hip mobility can increase strain on the lower back. Incorporate stretches and mobility exercises for your hips to alleviate unnecessary stress on your lumbar spine.


·         Maintain Good Posture


Poor posture, especially during prolonged sitting, can exacerbate lower back pain. Focus on maintaining a neutral spine position, use ergonomic chairs, and take regular breaks to stand and stretch.


·         Manage Visceral Fat


Excess body weight, particularly visceral fat around the midsection, can put additional pressure on the lower back. Adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular cardiovascular exercise can help reduce this strain.


·         Strengthen Core Muscles


A strong core supports the lower back and enhances stability. Incorporate exercises like planks, bird dogs, and dead bugs into your routine to build a robust core.


·         Regular Exercise


A consistent exercise regimen that includes strength training, flexibility exercises, and cardiovascular activities can help maintain overall back health and prevent issues related to lower back instability.




For individuals over 40, maintaining lower back stability and strength is not just about passing a test; it's about ensuring a foundation for lifelong health and activity. The front squat hold test and its goblet squat hold variant offer practical benchmarks for assessing your lower back's condition. By incorporating preventive measures such as improving hip mobility, maintaining good posture, managing body weight, and strengthening the core, you can support your lower back's health, reduce the risk of pain and instability, and continue to enjoy an active, fulfilling life.

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