T Nation

Hip Popping with Wide Stance


OK, so I have been a runner since I was eleven. I'm almost 30. I started lifting for strength almost a year ago (as opposed to "toning"). Now, thanks to the running, I ASSume, ha! my ass sucks. It's flat and frustrating. I only have been front squatting because I lift at home and don't have a rack yet so I squat what I can clean (I also do Bulgarian split squats). I was getting frustrated because I don't feel like my glutes are getting anything out of my squatting, so I read "10 Tips for Flawless Squatting," "Squat 900 Pounds" and "Squatting from Head to Toe."

I decided I need to widen my stance and try box squats. (Also have added straight legged deadlifts.) So I bought a sexy pair of hot pink Chuck's (I don't now why I never wore these before, they're awesome) and dumped all my old cassette tapes out of the milk crate and got to work.

Now when I sumo DL my right hip pops in front. It's bearable. I have a chronically tight right piriformis muscle, and I'm not noticeably lopsided, but my pant cuffs wear on the right and my stride length is shorter for my right leg. But when coming up on the box squats the hip pop is sickening and painful. I can get through about three reps and I have to stop. I found this "Hip Problem" thread http://tnation.tmuscle.com/free_online_forum/sports_body_training_performance_bodybuilding_strength/hip_problem_1 and the consensus seems to line up with my issues (weak glutes and piriformis issues).

When I squat and DL with a shoulder-width stance I have no problems. When I squat with a wide stance with my toes forward (as recommended in one of those Dave Tate articles) the popping lessens, but I feel like I get more power with toes out.

Should I see a PT or will glute activation and stretching the muscles in/around my pelvic girdle over time do the trick? I hate stretching... that's probably what got me here... I also still run 2 miles four or five mornings a week, should I quit that?

If any of my questions are stupid please forgive me, I'm still new at all this. Thanks :slightly_smiling:


Hey sluicy...

First off, great call on the pink chucks :slight_smile: Aren't they THAT much better just because they're pink? I love mine!

I'd suggest widening your stance slowly. See if you can widen it an inch or so every time you squat. It will allow your body to adjust to the changes instead of just jumping right into it. I'd definitely do more glute activation, especially before squats and possibly even between sets. It's like a "hello ass, I know you're there... you're supposed to be working right now" wake up call to them. Also, be sure you're sitting your butt back.

Try posting some videos if you have a camera and some of the women can see what you may be doing. However you shouldn't be doing it if it is painful. If the slowly widening of it doesn't work I'd say find to PT that comes recommended (if you don't have one you go to already) and won't just give you some lame exercises to do.



Thanks for the reply. It IS more sensible to widen out slowly (bah!). My regular PT is in Maine and I am in Texas so I'd have to find a new one. The camera is in Kentucky with my husband who is looking for an apartment for when we move this summer, and do I really have to post my weak ass squats when he comes home? Oh crap!

Seriously, I'm squatting light and focusing on pushing knees out, elbows forward, back arch, leading with the chest... however I am an utter klutz and walk into walls and trip over carpets so I may very possibly squat as well as an epileptic monkey in potty training. (No offense to anyone who is.. er.. potty trained.. wait, isn't there another thread for this?)

One point from DT's "Squatting from Head to Toe" was, "Training on a box will allow you to sit back onto the box to a point where your shins are past perpendicular to the floor. This places all the stress on the squatting muscles (hips, glutes, lower back and hamstrings.) When you can increase the stress on these muscles and lower the stress on the quads, then you'll be ready to see your squat poundages start moving." Dude, I can't even get my shins past perpendicular with bodyweight squats.

Re: the chucks, mine are this sweet stonewashed hot pink and I can't find a picture online anywhere. I feel like a poser because my shoes are so awesome and my squats are so SUCKY!!! :-)))


Hey it's all good. Weak ass sucky squats just make us feel better about ourself :wink: I kid. Seriously, we all started somewhere. In fact, I was squatting with 40lbs last Febuary, so don't think we were born superstars :smiley: Besides, after the vivid picture you painted, I'd really like to see them :slightly_smiling:

I read that article too and I can't get my shins past perpendicular with bodyweight either...well I can, but it would be more me plopping on the box and not squatting to it.

Nobody hear is mean (except PMPM...she's a giant bitch) and you can get some pretty great responses from people. It's good you're staying light and focusing on form. But I'd seriously try working your way out. I've moved my original stance out quite a bit, but it's been over the last 4-5 months.

As for the chucks, I think I know what you're talking about. We're like kindred spirits...or something... have you seen any of my vids/pics with them. They make me joyous.


X2 for pretty much everything Court said.

I just wanted to add a thought about Dave's quote. He squats ridiculously wide, it seems to be the best method when squatting out of a monolift. If you watch pretty much anybody that walks the weight out, the stance will not be as wide. The wider the stance, the less the shins come forward.

So since you're not using that wide of a stance (I hope) don't worry too much about the shin angle, just focus on sitting back and keeping your chest up.

Final comment. When sumo deadlifting, do the same thing with bringing your stance out slowly to let your body adjust and if you do deadlifts on a separate day than squats then do a few warmup squat sets first (front or back) to help warm up the hips.

Good luck sluicy.


I am sooo jealous of your hot pink chucks. I could not find chucks when we looked. I have little duck feet--very short and almost as wide as they are long--which makes getting shoes that fit a bitch. I ended up with black, dark grey, and purple Pumas. I do like the Pumas, but...pink chucks....sigh...swoon....

I hear ya on the squats. I am also an uber klutz as my trainer (who happens to also be my boyfriend, lucky me!) will attest. Sheesh. I am always tripping on things, dropping things...stepping on the little dog (though, jeesh, you think he would learn to stay out of my way!!)....

I am FINALLY getting some technique. Luckily for me, I do it wrong and he tells me what to do right until I get it. I am hoping that the Zen method will work for me: "The archer ceases to be conscious of himself as the one who is engaged in hitting the bull's-eye which confronts him. This state of unconscious is realized only when, completely empty and rid of the self, he becomes one with the perfecting of his technical skill, though there is in it something of a quite different order which cannot be attained by any progressive study of the art..." (Zen in the Art of Archery, Herrigel) Basically, Herrigel argues that form is of the essence, rather than the result of the movement. Do the same motion correctly enough times, and eventually the body takes over and executes the movement without conscious thought, and you hit the bullseye!