T Nation

A Biomechanical Inquiry


I posted this message before but got no response. I'm hoping someone can help me out this time!

Question: Why does widening one's stance increase the pressure on one's hip flexors while squatting?


Think about it . To be a hip flexor, the muscle must originate on the lumbopelvic are(pelvic bones, lumbar spine), and insert somewhere on the femur(the log leg bone, or upper leg). Examples are the rectus femoris which is a hip flexor and knee extensor and the ilio psoas. Whe you widen your stance you have to cause a slight stretch. Try taking a wide squat stance, you'll see or I mean feel a slight stretch in the groin in the region of the hip flexor/ groin area. Also involved will be the adductors, which have some hip extension function also.


Zev: It is basically because of the principle of "pre-stretch" or "stretch position". IN GENERAL the hip flexors originate at various points on the hip and attach to the upper leg bone (femur). When you widen your stance (hence "opening up" the hip), you pre-stretch the hip flexors (to varying degees). The theory behind pre-stretch is that a) you get greater fiber recruitment leading to b) greater muscular contraction. The problem, however, is that you must lessen your intensity or the muscles are MUCH more susceptible to injury. Hope this helps.