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Numb Fingers after Three-Oh-Threes

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  • Numb Fingers after Three-Oh-Threes

    Hello Docs,

    Today i had something odd occur after my last set of 303 Squats (8 Reps @ RPE 8, i.e. nothing heavy but on my back for 50+ secs) - when i took my wrist wraps off, my left hand was numb

    The sensation rapidly reduced, but i was left with numb fingertips for about 2 hours afterwards. The sensation was strongest in the middle finger, then the thumb, then the index finger. The other 2 not so much

    no other symptoms. no decreased range of motion. no pain or discomfort during the set

    I had an MRI about 10 years ago after reporting similar sensation, and a "tightness" across my shoulders - this showed a prolapsed disc at C5-C6 on the left hand side. Intervention was a soft-collar for a few weeks and no lifting (kinda difficult with a young child, but what the hey)

    As Austin will have predicted, inactivity did nothing to improve the symptoms, whereas doing heavy Presses for the last 6 months or so have reduced the problem significantly

    My initial thought is that - today - i got my bar position wrong and maybe mashed the radial/ulnar nerve a bit, but would value your learned advices.

    let me know if you need any more info
    Last edited by DoubleJ; 01-14-2018, 08:32 PM.
    The Lie of Freedom - Just another Straw Pulled at Random

  • #2
    Sounds like your grip, neck position, or potentially other form issue might need to be adjusted to do the 303 tempo squats. Alternatively, you might find that doing them high bar for this application works better for you given your history.
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    • #3
      Thanks for the speedy response, Doc!

      Yeh, it's odd, as this has never happened before with 303s, and form-wise i do them the same as 'standard' low bar Squats

      The only difference over the past few workouts is that i've consciously been working on squeezing my shoulders back more and more, and as a result my grips is a little narrower than it was

      do you have any cues or tips for me that you think might help, please?

      Cheers, mate! Really appreciate what you and Austin/Leah/Alan are doing on here and Da 'Tubes
      The Lie of Freedom - Just another Straw Pulled at Random


      • #4
        I had the same problem once my squat reached 75kg (I’m a 70kg female), although it was primarily the tip of my left index finger. I have no history of spinal problems. My question is whether anyone has seen this progress to affect someone outside the immediate period after lifting? I felt happy to be lifting that heavy and coping with the symptoms temporarily whilst I tried different things to try and prevent it but would be a lot more cautious if it seemed there was a significant risk of it progressing...
        (currently re-doing LP after injury so not experiencing at present but will be back at that weight in a few weeks)


        • #5
          Had something very similar happen when I used to overextend the cervical spine ("look up to go up") during SQ, DL & PR. My thumb, index and middle fingers were numb (right arm), but also experienced rapid onset of weakness on pressing moves and anything that actively used the biceps. You could use the tennis ball trick (trap it with chin down and chest up) to eliminate this variable. This also helps to make sure that you have adequate thoracic extension (think scapula under chest) as this only makes the overextended neck position that much worse. This is easy during set up prior to lifting the bar, but pretty damned hard to alter an ingrained behavior at the bottom of a squat for example.


          • #6
            I usually take a slightly wider and looser grip for the 303 squats and I must raise my elbow higher to compensate and hold the bar securely on my back. I know elbows up is bad, but with such light weight it doesn't bother me. And I know tighter back and grip is better but it bothers me with such a long time under tension.


            • DoubleJ
              DoubleJ commented
              Editing a comment
              Dig your Avatar, mate! Genius

          • #7
            Thanks for all the input, people - you rock!

            my suspicion is on grip width - I tried my narrower grip for my first working set of Squats on Monday and i got a similar (but much less intense) experience. Going back to my old, wider grip for the rest was fine

            To Be Continued ...
            The Lie of Freedom - Just another Straw Pulled at Random


            • #8
              mini update - 303s again today. old-style wide grip = no re-occurrence of the problem
              The Lie of Freedom - Just another Straw Pulled at Random