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High Bar Back Squat form Check

I am having some serious issues with knee and hip pain after any squat (front or back). I also do olympic lifting, which might be contributing as well. My patellar tendon on both knees flares up really bad especially after back squats. The worst is the hip pain though. Any time I’m in flexion, both external or internal rotation ruins me! It’s way worse on the left side although it’s present in both.

The pain is primarily in the front of the hip, but it hurts deep in the capsule as well. I’ve had X-rays and there is no impingement, and the chiro said I didn’t have any tears that he could find. I’ve attached two videos with back squat form with very light weight(one from side and one from the front). Please help! I’m getting very frustrated.

Here’s the other video. I should preface this by saying that the video got transposed. The leg nearest the Mizzou bags set is my left side. Thanks.

If you are trying to do high bar squats, it looks like you’re not going down all the way, which can cause a lot of problems. Try squatting down as low as possible without the bar and hanging out there for a few seconds, and see how that depth compares to the depth with the bar. Also, if you are having pain, you might want to try low bar squatting or doing bulgarian split squats instead

Thanks for the reply. I haven’t taped my olympic lifts in a while, but I would wager that I’m probably not getting that bottomed out position either. I’ve been trying to work on that position on off days and in my spare time, but perhaps I need to hold off on full squat snatches/C&J/high bar. I tried low bar, and it helped a lot with knee and hip pain, but my low back was an issue. Maybe I just need to become more flexible all around. What do you think?

You may be experiencing anterior femoral glide bilaterally. Your form looks pretty good but there looks like there is a slight translation of your weight out to your toes as you descend. Do you feel like you are rock solid on your heels?

Your feet also look to begin turning out when you get to the bottom which leads me to believe you do not have enough internal rotation at your hips (because of the anterior glide?). The only problem with going lighter in the videos is that you may not be adding enough stress to really see your faults. Did this weight cause you pain? I am not saying you need to post a video that does cause you pain but just something to think about.

Typically if you have anterior knee and/or hip pain it is a glute issue of some sort. I would focus on tissue quality of the hips, adductors and glutes. I might also start to work on some positioning while I squat, Goblet squats are awesome for that, bare foot if possible, to really see how you move. It will help you sit into that posterior capsule but being bare foot will show how much ankle mobility you really have or do not have.

Why the belt while we are at it? If you have a weak midsection your pelvis will be all over the place and that will also contribute to hip issues. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.

This is all good advice. I went this light because this is about as much as I can put on without pain. Could you be a little more specific about “tissue quality of the hips”, and “work on positioning”. Thanks.

You look uncomfortable under the bar. Practice positioning as ATCJM said, especially goblet squats and “squat to stand”. Add them in your warmup. I also think you need to do more mobility work and strengthening of weak/inactive muscles. Stretch hips, ankles and strengthen glutes, hamstring, abs.

Squat to stand:

[quote]ATCJM wrote:
You may be experiencing anterior femoral glide bilaterally. Your form looks pretty good but there looks like there is a slight translation of your weight out to your toes as you descend. Do you feel like you are rock solid on your heels?

Your feet also look to begin turning out when you get to the bottom which leads me to believe you do not have enough internal rotation at your hips (because of the anterior glide?). The only problem with going lighter in the videos is that you may not be adding enough stress to really see your faults. Did this weight cause you pain? I am not saying you need to post a video that does cause you pain but just something to think about.

Typically if you have anterior knee and/or hip pain it is a glute issue of some sort. I would focus on tissue quality of the hips, adductors and glutes. I might also start to work on some positioning while I squat, Goblet squats are awesome for that, bare foot if possible, to really see how you move. It will help you sit into that posterior capsule but being bare foot will show how much ankle mobility you really have or do not have.

Why the belt while we are at it? If you have a weak midsection your pelvis will be all over the place and that will also contribute to hip issues. Just some thoughts. Hope it helps.[/quote]

Yes, if you watch the bar path he definitely slides forward as he descends on all his repetitions. That’s not a great thing.

OP, I would seriously work on tissue quality of your hips, hamstrings, IT band especially, piriformis, and calves. I would stretch your calves, focus on strengthening your glutes and not squatting for a while and focus on hip mobility and internal/external rotation as ATCJM suggested.

It is hard to give advice over the internet on these sorts of things.

What does your warm-up consist of and do you do any soft tissue work?

I have been stretching religiously for the past couple of weeks. Foam roll every day. Use a lacrosse ball on hamstrings, glutes, and around scapula. My warmup is a light cardio (jumping jacks, rowing) for 1-2 min. Foam roll everywhere, Agile 8 for hips, band work for upper body. My workouts include a olympic lift, squat, press of some sort, and a deadlift or variation. 3x a week. I’ve subbed in power snatches/cleans for squat snatches/cleans until I can achieve full ROM. I haven’t been squatting at all, and have been doing glute work (weighted bridges, etc). My knees and hips are still killing me. Is this just going to take time?

Does it hurt when resting? When does it hurt?

You should also not foamroll TOO much (will get killed for saying this) as it will irritate the tissue and cause more pain. Let things cool off. Rest.

Hip/knees are usually not a quick fix, take your time. Are you in a hurry?

If I’m sitting still I don’t feel pain. After warming up I feel fine. During my workouts I’m fine. These are the only times I’m pain free, however. An hour or so after the workout is when the pain starts and doesn’t let up until I start stretching/warming up. Not in a hurry, but I’d really like to be pain free. I can deal with muscle pain, but constant joint pain is really frustrating.

This is not something likely to be fixed via internet unfortunately, since this is sounding like something fairly complex.

I am wondering, though, if your diet and other aspects of life may or may not be contributing to the joint pain. That you are possibly getting irritation from something other than lifting which is not helping you at all. Unfortunately I don’t know what else it might be off the top of my head.

The only further tips I can offer at the moment are: looooots of Omega 3’s daily, glucosamine chondroitin, check your diet, and possibly use a lax ball or golf ball on the arch of your foot + calves since they tend to be super tight and might contribute, although it does not seem likely whatsoever.