T Nation

Hip Problems and Power Lifting?


I don't currently have much problems with my hips however my father was a long time powerlifter squatting well over 600 pounds but he had to have his right hip replaced at 40 years old. Supposedly, he had a genetic defect with his hips but I'm thinking squatting over six hunderd pounds didn't help much either. I'm afraid I've inherited the genetic defect and the love of powerlifting. So I want to achieve similar powerlifting goals without the fake hip in the future. I was wondering if anyone had any ideas to help me out so I don't get stopped at the airport metal detector because of a fake hip.

My current thinking is to invest in some good squat briefs to help my hips but any other suggestions or ideas on hip health would be greatly appreciated.


Do you put your seatbelt on when you drive?

I mean what else can you do besides use common sense, proper form, stretch, etc. and be safe as you can? Most things in life involve risk.

It's unlikely your father's hip had anything to do without proper evidence. If you want to wear briefs and gear, go ahead. If not, that's fine too. It's really up to you.


Pay attention to things like hip/joint mobility and stability [which are buzz words around these parts]. When I switched from quad squatting to PL squatting my squat went up 200lbs but it is true that the burden on my hips and hip joints increased manyfold. True I am a lot stronger and with more mass in the hips now but also I stretch them out almost daily and warm up more thoroughly.

The briefs will help for max lifting but should not be relied upon for every workout.


Obviously everything comes with its risks and I'm not going to stop lifting with a wide stance because I move the most weight that way and gain the most strength. I would just like to avoid the plastic hip in the future. Any specific hip stretches, warmups would be helpful. I've never worn any type of gear while squatting but I've heard the briefs keep the hips warm or some crap like that. Anyways thanks for your time.


One thing NOT to ignore that can be a great help as well is your diet the quality of it the nutrients etc. This will play a HUGE roll as well



The briefs don't keep your hips warm, they allow you to lift more weight depending on the material and how many ply. I guess one could argue they keep you safer while lifting higher weights. They are like knee wraps if you will.

I've gotten quite a bit out of my briefs in the past with and w/o a belt.


I agree with this. Most people will use the briefs every workout along with belt, wraps, some even suit. If you use gear all the time, when do YOUY actually become strong without it?


Get some regular stretching done on your hip rotators,piriformis, adductors, etc. Really take it easy on the stretches as overstretching these muscles will really beat you up.

"Stretch to Win" has a hip joint stretch and an overall approach that I have found to be helpful, although other stretches done at a low intensity should work too.

I found initally that I was VERY tight in the hips. So, be prepared for this, and proceed with patience.


I have hip pain sometimes. I doubt this is a genetic issue. I think it is largely a function of my lifting style (wide stance on squats medium sumo on deads) and my physical proportions (long legs). Briefs help with this some.

However, I think that rotating your stance helps as well- at least if you tend to use a wider stance for your lifts. Benching also takes its toll. If you tuck your legs way back and arch high, you may get some hip discomfort.


I'd suggest you stay away from powerlifting. Seriously look at the number of older lifters with hip replacements.

Rickey Dale Crain, Clarence Bass, John Grimek, Tommy Kono etc.

If you already have genetic succeptibility your hip will probably give way anyway. Lifting tons of iron won't help any.


The only one of those I know is predominantly a PLer is RDC. He has posted elsewhere that his hip was a genetic issue and is currently squatting over 400 on the replacement.

I am a masters Pler and I know more old guys squatting 600 than I do who have had hip replacements.

Squatting may contribute to hip problems, but so will running, walking, skating and just about anything else.

If you want to PL I would say go ahead. Disuse and running have ruined more hips than PL.


If you do wide stance box squats, you need briefs. It's just the way it is. When I answer questions at elite, the sore hip crowd almost always isn't wearing briefs on box squats. You need them.

Prehab work and a good warmup will also go a long way.


Like everybody's said, briefs. You might also want to liook into getting rehband shorts (sold by jackal's gym. do a search) I'm thinking of getting them because as far as I can tell, they're like elbow sleeves for your hips - sounds pretty good to me.

As far as prehab, a lot of the recommendations have been pretty general. I'm going to say read a lot of Eric Cressey. I'm not sure he's ever written specifically about the hip joint, but I know some of his total body articles (neanderthal no more, etc) and his magnificent mobility which is EXCELLENT for dynamic warmups, emphasize movement AROUND the hip rather than movement OF the hip (it makes more sense when he writes about it in depth)


That's not what RDC said a couple of years ago. He said deadlifting and sumo did it. How long have you been lifting?


My first meet was PA State Collegiate in 1981. My most recent "major" meet was WPC Master's Nationals in Maine this year.
I have competed in at least one national level most years from then to now.


Recently RDC has been posting about his hip on another forum. I will limit any further comments to my own opinion, to make sure I don't put words in someone elses mouth or misquote.

BTW I do squat wide and pull sumo. My first "official 600+ squat was in 1986 at 165 in a USPF meet.


At one point my hips were getting tore up from squating. I tried the Inzer power pants. Not sure how much it added to my squat maybe 20 pounds but it really took the stress of them. Actually they never hurt at all anymore! But as stated above don't rely on them for all work outs. I wear them when I do low box squats.


At one point my hips were getting tore up from squating. I tried the Inzer power pants. Not sure how much it added to my squat maybe 20 pounds but it really took the stress of them. Actually they never hurt at all anymore! But as stated above don't rely on them for all work outs. I wear them when I do low box squats.


diet has little or nothing to do with the development of hip arthritis (which is the concern here)


there is no reason to believe that squatting itself will lead to hip degeneration; if your father's condition was genetic it means that his hip joint was malformed and didn't have normal physiologic function.

If you are concerned about the same, then I suggest consulting a good orthopedic physician to ask if he can screen the form of your hips.