T Nation

Hip Pain Squatting

My gf is getting pain in her hips while squatting.

She has a wide stance which I believe would be contributing to it, and she says it only hurts on her heavier sets. She does stretching and mobility work so I don’t think that would be the cause, and she did just take a total rest week before maxing out this past week, so I would think she would be rested up too.

Closing in her stance and foam rolling are the only other things I can think of.

I’m wondering if I’m overlooking anything or if anyone has any suggestions to help her out.


This is an excerpt form Eric Cressey’s newsletter a few weeks ago that sounded similar to what you’re talking about. Its a great newsletter, everyone should totally sign up for it:

[quote]"Q: I’ve been getting a bit of pain in the front of my hips when squatting. I’m not sure whether it’s the hips flexors or something else. Squats with a stance around shoulder width are fine, as are any hip flexor exercises that work my legs in line with my body.

It’s only when I squat with a slightly wider stance or do overhead squats that my hips are bothered. It’s only when I do leg raises with my legs apart, making a ‘Y’ shape with my body, that I really feel the irritated muscle working. Although these do seem to help it rather than cause it pain.

Do you have any idea what this could be? Or, tips on how to strengthen the area to avoid it? Thanks for any insight you can offer.

A: Femoral anterior glide syndrome is a classic problem in people with poor lumbo-pelvic function (overactive hamstrings and lumbar erectors coupled with weak glutes). The hamstrings don?t exert any direct control over the femur during hip extension; their distal attachments are all below the knee. So, as you extend the hip, there is no direct control over the head of the femur, and it can slide forward, irritating the anterior joint capsule. This will give a feeling of tightness and irritation, but stretching the area will actually irritate it even more.

The secret is to eliminate problematic exercises for the short-term, and in the meantime, focus on glute activation drills. The gluteus maximus exerts a posterior pull on the femoral head during hip extension, so if it’s firing to counteract that anterior glide caused by the humerus, you"re golden. We outline several excellent drills in our Magnificent Mobility DVD; when handled correctly, you should see almost complete reduction of symptoms within a week.

Lastly, make sure that you’re popping your hips through and CONSCIOUSLY activating your butt on all squats, deadlifts, good mornings, pull-throughs, etc. Incorporate some single-leg work as well. For now, though, keep your stance in for a few weeks, stay away from box squatting, and get some foam rolling done on your adductors, quads, hip flexors, ITB/TFL, and piriformis. "

Hope it helps.

Thanks but I had already read that (I agree great newsletter, Cressy has great info)

I guess I will have to go over some things again with her or something to make sure everything is working right…

She already does mobility warm ups and I incorporate unilateral exercises as well.

She is training for a powerlifting meet in 10 weeks so I am just trying to head off any potential injury/strain.

Maybe I will have her do some activition work between sets too of deads/squats…

Get her in some briefs…

[quote]mattwray wrote:
Get her in some briefs…[/quote]

Best thing you can do for your hips.

[quote]PhilG wrote:
mattwray wrote:
Get her in some briefs…

Best thing you can do for your hips.[/quote]

Absolutely, briefs are essiential when you’re going to be doing a lot of wide squat work in a day.

I know I’ve read about that before but I’m not positive on what briefs are…basically “support” briefs are somewhat like only part of a squat suit from what I gather.

I actually did tell her to start wearing spandex, where I think that could help, but not provide the support as much as briefs could.

Thanks for the info.

I think she is standing too wide. I had the same issue before and brought my stance in some.


I’ve had the same thing before, it’s a mother man. And ridiculously annoying. I just changed my stance and made it a bit closer, did more mobility, and for about 2 weeks focused more on accessory exercises.