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Fitness & Health

25th Jan 2022

Powerlifter horrifically snaps her arm during 167kg squat

Daniel Brown

She broke her radius bone and needed eight screws inserted into her arm

Footage has emerged of powerlifter Robyn Machado suffering a gruesome injury as she attempted to squat 167kg.

Machado’s arm gave way midway through her first rep, despite the fact that she had successfully lifted heavier weights during previous training sessions.

While the incident occurred in March 2020, the video resurfaced on her TikTok account in recent days as the 35-year-old explained the details around the injury.

In response to someone calling her ‘too weak’ and ‘stupid’ to even think she could attempt a lift that is nearly three times her bodyweight (she competes in the -60kg class), Machado reacted with a video showing her squatting 170kg, 172kg and 175kg.

As well as this, there is video footage of her squatting 172kg and 183kg with a high bar following her injury.

The incident occurred during a competition and shows Machado lifting the bar before stepping backwards to prepare to squat.

With three spotters stood around her, the 35-year-old began to lower herself before a crack can be heard, which is the exact moment Machado started to scream in agony.

WARNING: Footage of the accident is included below, but beware, it is very graphic.


I hit heavier weight all through prep 🙃 anyway, I no longer do low bar squats lol. #powerlifting #gymtok #gymfail #armbreak #fittok #fypシ

♬ Extermination – Upon A Burning Body

She broke her radius bone and needed a plate and eight screws putting in her arm as a result.

In a later video, where she told viewers more about what happened, she said: “The first thing that went wrong was the day before when you go in and they take your weight and rack heights and stuff, the squat rack had the bench in between and I’m short.

“I had to straddle a bench while trying to get my squat rack height. Honestly that was ridiculous.”

She added: “So the next day at the meet I did my first squat and it was fabulous… then my second attempt squat – the 369 (lbs) that I tried – I’m like ‘I could do that in my sleep’… my one rep max, at the time, was at least 405 (lbs) so I thought I was good.

“I got under the bar and I noticed it felt a little bit higher and I though ‘you know what, this has happened to me many times, I’ll be fine’ plus I had so much adrenaline going.”

When the powerlifter explained how she was forced to go on to her tip toes to get the bar over the hook, she stated: “It hit the hook on the left side and started to kind of roll. But again, this has happened in the past, I’ve been squatting this way for four years.

“I start to go down and I feel the bar slide even further. It was a brand new bar… I felt the pressure on my arm and I heard that loud crunch. I looked over and could see – not the bone – but the bone popping from underneath the skin and I just screamed.”

According to Muscle & Strength‘s guide to squatting, it is important that you “have your technique down before you attempt squatting heavy weights. If you are squatting correctly, you should not feel pain in your lower back. Lower back pain is usually a sign that you are not using correct form and/or your core is weak.”

M&S also provide a 10-step guide to squatting, instructing people to:

  1. Set up for the exercise by setting the barbell to just below shoulder height and loading the weight you want to use.
  2. Stand under the bar with your feet at about shoulder width apart.
  3. Position the bar so that it is resting on the muscles on the top of your back, not on the back of your neck. The bar should feel comfortable. If it doesn’t, try adding some padding to the bar.
  4. Now take your hands over the back and grip the bar with a wide grip for stability.
  5. You should now bend at the knees and straighten your back in preparation to take the weight off the rack.
  6. Keeping your back straight and eyes up, push up through the legs and take the weight off the rack.
  7. Take a small step back and stabilise yourself.
  8. Keeping your eyes facing forward slowly lower your body down. Don’t lean forward as you come down. Your buttocks should come out and drop straight down.
  9. Squat down until your thighs are parallel with the floor, and then slowly raise your body back up by pushing through your heels.
  10. Do not lock the knees out when you stand up, and then repeat the movement.

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