Would a front squat be kinder on the hips and back than a wide, low bar back squat?
if said individual is uninjured and practises good form, yes
Riding my bike has loosened up my hips quite a bit for squatting. I even feel stronger. Can't recommend anything for the back as I do not have that problem.
What exactly is the issue with your hips. Answer might something other than 'this versus that'.
Yes, there's less stress on the hips with a front squat, but there's more on the knees.
Well recently ive been getting pain from my right hip joint, it feels like its round the back infront of my arse cheek. Im getting this pain from just standing up for 15mins or so and also if i lay on the flat surface, raise my knee up and let the leg fall to the side i also get pain from the joint! Quite worrying, so im trying to stay away from the back squats as i feel its aggrovating it!!
See a professional about it. Do you perform any dynamic warm-up work? If not, it should be a staple before you start training. You can check out 'Smitty Diesel' on you tube for an idea.
But definitely see a professional.
I couldnt just go in and squat, i spend around 15 mins warming my hips, legs back up. Its fine at the time just the days after and at night i feel it! Worrying at my age tbh