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Correcting Squatting Imbalance?

Hi all. I’m a long time fan now with a question about squatting imbalance. I’m a poor squatter and I think I just figured out why.

Yesterday was heavy front squat day, deep 8x3. Today my left glute and right thigh are sore. Not so with right glute and left thigh.

I’ve suspected this for a long time and this just proves it: I think I drive up from the bottom with my left side (ie. glute) and turn to the help of my right thigh in the middle. With heavy weight I also slow down significantly at about parallel. Any slower and I’d stop.

My right thigh is certainly bigger than left. Don’t know about glutes, I can’t see them from where I’m standing.

I used to have a slight prob with my right knee, so maybe I’ve instinctively started to avoid putting weight on it.

On top of this, I get a sore back from squatting, even front squatting. Feels like my left lower back gets compressed and the spine locks up and I’m as limber as timber. Hanging from a pull-up bar helps some.

Is it all because of this imbalance?
How should I go about correcting this? Should I start squatting lighter weights real slow and concentrate on working the weaker links? Or do some kind of unilateral work?

Help would be much much appreciated. I love squatting. Thanks for reading guys.

A video is always better than a written description. Post one of you squatting if you can.

It sounds like neither of your glutes are firing correctly, since you said your left lower back hurts to. You’re probably rounding your back without realizing it.

Static stretch your hip flexors, foam roll your abductors (or use a tennis ball), and do some glute activation before squatting. Unilateral work would be good too.

I would add perhaps a visit to a Chiro.

Do lunges.

Doug, you´re right. I am rounding my back - the butt sort of tucks in the very bottom. Glutes are out, low back bears the load, quads take over at some point coming up but asymmetrically and yeah, groin gets overstressed too. I also found out my GF squats pretty much perfectly all the way down and she doesn’t even train and I hate her.

I’ve been going though a bunch of articles on back health, glute-firing (is that a word? I’m not english) and posture. It looks like it’s time for a month or two of corrective work.

Thanks for the answers!

Somebody posted a bunch of SquatRx videos here not to long ago. Look those up on youtube.com. I’ve been training for a long time and thought I had form down pretty well, but those videos helped me find out I was doing some things wrong. So I am reconstructing my squats at this point. I dropped the weight and am working on form and weak points in my legs.

As far as imbalances try some single leg movements: split squats, single leg squats, pistols. They will frustrate the shit out of you, but stick with them and they will help the firing order of the muscles so you don’t have the imbalances any more.