T Nation

Hips Leaning to One Side

I am at my wit’s end with this shit.

Seriously.

No matter what I do or how hard I try my hips lean to the right when I sit back.

Doesn’t matter what weight, if I’m doing even a RDL WITHOUT A BAR or any weight, my hips go back towards the right. I tried so many times to fix it I don’t know how.

I have okay mobility I’m able to squat ass to grass no problem.

I’ve had to deload now to work on form and I just can’t fucking do it, I keep trying to push with my left but shit man that makes even a measly weight like 80kg feel like a house. And it’s still asymmetric.

Here’s what I noticed:

My left knee gets shoved out more than my right.

Even when standing still with the weight on my back my center of balance is slightly towards the right leg.

When I sit back to back squat properly I sit to the right.

And today was the straw that broke the squatter’s back.

Seriously, today I almost fell on my ass while doing this shit because I was trying to get it right. Good thing my spotter caught me or else BOOM SHAKALAKA. I never use a spotter but this time I did. If this ain’t an Act of God I don’t know what is.

Fucking hell, man.

Age: 22
BW: 92kg (up from 72 holy shit mad bulk)
Height: 186cm (6ft)
BF: 16-18% (up from like 10-12% or so)

Athletic background: Aikido for three years and then Judo a little competitively at 72kg for a year or so but had to quit temporarily and switch to weight training till I fix my back up with lots of strength.

Injuries: Spondylolisthesis - first grade.

And an Unidentified Fucking Ouchie (UFO) on my left hip/lower back that has been giving me shit for AGES I have no fucking clue what it is, a recent MRI says my back is clean, nothing but the spondy in there, it’s bearable but inconvenient as hell.

Structural imbalances: Left leg longer than right by 0.3cm (negligible as I understand it).

Medical Conditions: Type 1 Diabetes for 10 years.

Program: Stronglifts since November, I’m at 3x5 now.

Eats: 3500kcal 300/180/150

Mood: Furious

5RMs:
102.5kg Squat
72.5kg Bench (My bench blows for some reason beyond me)
50kg OHP
110kg Deadlift
65kg pendlay row

This blows.

Seriously guys you gotta help me I’m about to flip a MAJOR bitch now.

Here’s video at 102.5kg.

…and later at 70 when I tried to fix this shit.

And here’s video with a shim that kind of made it a little less pronounced. The last set is without it.

But my hips are still tilted, and my left knee is still shoved out more, and I still bend over with my hips to the right.

I’m also poor and I go to a public gym, and I can’t afford a tripod so the videos are shit and people walk around, I understand and deeply apologise for my inadequacies.

I stretch my glutes, hamstrings, adductors and I stretch in the bottom position of the squat ass to grass every single day.

And I don’t do any cardio.

What the fuck is going on?

external rotation is lacking, have you had leg length measured?

look up PRI, Postural Restoration Institute. The is an underlying asymmetry anatomically in all of us and it all begins with the diaphragm and how it attaches to our spin along with most of society today being “mouth breathers” which means we dont use our diaphragm to breath (we use accessory muscles). Now from what I have been told it can cause us to “sink” into our right hip. Basically our left femur is internally rotated and our right femur is externally rotated causes us to lean into that right hip. Eric Cressey posted this in one of his articles in which he spoke about stuff he learned from the previous year. Now I know this might not be a direct answer and no I am not presenting you a solution basically because I know so little about it but I though it was worth saying.

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
external rotation is lacking, have you had leg length measured?[/quote]

Yes, it’s in my OP my left leg is longer by 0.3cm.

[quote]GetLethal wrote:
look up PRI, Postural Restoration Institute. The is an underlying asymmetry anatomically in all of us and it all begins with the diaphragm and how it attaches to our spin along with most of society today being “mouth breathers” which means we dont use our diaphragm to breath (we use accessory muscles). Now from what I have been told it can cause us to “sink” into our right hip. Basically our left femur is internally rotated and our right femur is externally rotated causes us to lean into that right hip. Eric Cressey posted this in one of his articles in which he spoke about stuff he learned from the previous year. Now I know this might not be a direct answer and no I am not presenting you a solution basically because I know so little about it but I though it was worth saying.[/quote]

Oh yeah by the way I live in Egypt. Sorry.

(Real sorry)

this video shows one of the correctives. I will try to explain the best I can. Basically we need to learn how to breath first. Lying down on your back you may notice that your ribs flare out. If so this is a big sign that you dont know how to breath properly. So what you want to do when you inhale is to fill up your belly and not your chest as much as you can. Breath into your balls. When you exhale contract your abs and purse your lips to give resistance(the guy in the vid is using a balloon which i think is unnecessary). Try to pull your ribs down into your “front pockets”.

Now in the video he is using a roller inbetween his legs. What you want to do is crush the roller and then try to rotate it counter clockwise, so pushing your right knee towards the ceiling all while trying to posteriorly rotate your pelvis. this is one of the main correctives that is kind of out right now in the strength and conditioning field which I have seen being used. also try to roll out and stretch your left glute, right adducter, right hamstring, and right hip flexor. Hope this could be of use with some further research. This is all I know at the moment. I am not one of these big corrective only type guys either by the way. I compete in strongman and love to throw heavy shit around. I hope this helps.

[quote]MisterT wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
external rotation is lacking, have you had leg length measured?[/quote]

Yes, it’s in my OP my left leg is taller by 0.3cm.

[quote]GetLethal wrote:
look up PRI, Postural Restoration Institute. The is an underlying asymmetry anatomically in all of us and it all begins with the diaphragm and how it attaches to our spin along with most of society today being “mouth breathers” which means we dont use our diaphragm to breath (we use accessory muscles). Now from what I have been told it can cause us to “sink” into our right hip. Basically our left femur is internally rotated and our right femur is externally rotated causes us to lean into that right hip. Eric Cressey posted this in one of his articles in which he spoke about stuff he learned from the previous year. Now I know this might not be a direct answer and no I am not presenting you a solution basically because I know so little about it but I though it was worth saying.[/quote]

Oh yeah by the way I live in Egypt. Sorry.

(Real sorry)[/quote]

You can still use the internet to look it up right?

[quote]GetLethal wrote:

[quote]MisterT wrote:

[quote]rehanb_bl wrote:
external rotation is lacking, have you had leg length measured?[/quote]

Yes, it’s in my OP my left leg is taller by 0.3cm.

[quote]GetLethal wrote:
look up PRI, Postural Restoration Institute. The is an underlying asymmetry anatomically in all of us and it all begins with the diaphragm and how it attaches to our spin along with most of society today being “mouth breathers” which means we dont use our diaphragm to breath (we use accessory muscles). Now from what I have been told it can cause us to “sink” into our right hip. Basically our left femur is internally rotated and our right femur is externally rotated causes us to lean into that right hip. Eric Cressey posted this in one of his articles in which he spoke about stuff he learned from the previous year. Now I know this might not be a direct answer and no I am not presenting you a solution basically because I know so little about it but I though it was worth saying.[/quote]

Oh yeah by the way I live in Egypt. Sorry.

(Real sorry)[/quote]

You can still use the internet to look it up right?[/quote]

I did that’s how I found out they have no centers in Egypt.

I assumed you meant to check out the institute itself.

I’ll take a look, thanks.

Look up hip external and internal rotation tests. Do them and post that. It may help. would try and do a seated and and prone. What kind of stuff makes the hip hurt

Arching my back as hard as I can makes my lower back/hip hurt (I don’t know where it is precisely I just know it’s on the left).

The process of rounding my lower back, and the process of straightening it.

Glute bridges. Bending sideways. Getting the weight out of the rack before squatting.

After stretching my usual cycle (hamstring>glute>adductors>bottom squat)the pain lessens, but it returns the next day. I’m a little familiar with PNF stretching so I do that to the best of my knowledge.

That’s pretty much it.

I have pretty much the same issue as you. For me it seems permanent. I have good form and all but my asymmetry will cause me to do that no matter what. Very few people have perfect bone structures. Ever since I noticed it on myself its easy to spot the same thing on others.

Same problem here. I’m working on fixing it by trying to do pistol squats. Check this out:http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/08/squat-quick-test-is-it-your-ankles-or-hips.html

What I found was that I could pistol squat on my left leg, but not on my right. When I tried this it really felt like my ankle was too tight; I couldn’t get as much dorsiflexion. I only say this specifically might apply to you because it sort of looks like your right heel is coming off the ground more than the left. But in general from I understand, mobility problems can be kind of deceptive as whether they are actually in the hips or ankles

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
Same problem here. I’m working on fixing it by trying to do pistol squats. Check this out:http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/08/squat-quick-test-is-it-your-ankles-or-hips.html

What I found was that I could pistol squat on my left leg, but not on my right. When I tried this it really felt like my ankle was too tight; I couldn’t get as much dorsiflexion. I only say this specifically might apply to you because it sort of looks like your right heel is coming off the ground more than the left. But in general from I understand, mobility problems can be kind of deceptive as whether they are actually in the hips or ankles[/quote]

I can’t pistol with either leg.

But it’s obvious to me that the problem ain’t in my calves, because the hip swing to the side is at the very top of the squat movement.

Do you have anything to say to that?

But hey doesn’t hurt to stretch more, I’ll add calves to my routine.

Ankle is the same thing as calf right? Or are there specific stretches for the rest of the shit.

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
I have pretty much the same issue as you. For me it seems permanent. I have good form and all but my asymmetry will cause me to do that no matter what. Very few people have perfect bone structures. Ever since I noticed it on myself its easy to spot the same thing on others. [/quote]

Do you have any back or hip problems?

How much do you squat?

This is relevant because “don’t fix what ain’t broke”.

If you think you have it tough, talk to Stormthebeach about his issues. That guy is strong, and has a large leg length disparity but he deals with it. He has back issues too as a result but mans up like a boss.

[quote]MisterT wrote:

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:
Same problem here. I’m working on fixing it by trying to do pistol squats. Check this out:http://www.mobilitywod.com/2012/08/squat-quick-test-is-it-your-ankles-or-hips.html

What I found was that I could pistol squat on my left leg, but not on my right. When I tried this it really felt like my ankle was too tight; I couldn’t get as much dorsiflexion. I only say this specifically might apply to you because it sort of looks like your right heel is coming off the ground more than the left. But in general from I understand, mobility problems can be kind of deceptive as whether they are actually in the hips or ankles[/quote]

I can’t pistol with either leg.

But it’s obvious to me that the problem ain’t in my calves, because the hip swing to the side is at the very top of the squat movement.

Do you have anything to say to that?

But hey doesn’t hurt to stretch more, I’ll add calves to my routine.

Ankle is the same thing as calf right? Or are there specific stretches for the rest of the shit.

[quote]MightyMouse17 wrote:
I have pretty much the same issue as you. For me it seems permanent. I have good form and all but my asymmetry will cause me to do that no matter what. Very few people have perfect bone structures. Ever since I noticed it on myself its easy to spot the same thing on others. [/quote]

Do you have any back or hip problems?

How much do you squat?

This is relevant because “don’t fix what ain’t broke”.[/quote]

If your shins are at different angles with the ground, then your knees will be in an asymmetrical position, and consequently your hip will look like its out of position.

Look, if you can squat ATG no problem as you say, then you don’t have a hip mobility problem. But as I mentioned, your right heel comes up more than the left (both of them should be firmly planted) which does indicate your ankle mobility isn’t up to par. If you allow your heels to raise you’re not going to feel a mobility problem anyway, so how is it obvious to you that the calves ain’t the problem?

I’m no expert by any means however I think I can help you. I feel your issue is caused by the instability and tightness in your back and hamstrings due to the Spondylolisthesis. With any back problems, you should seek treatment. A Chiropractor and physical therapy will help tons. Get that figured out, then work on your squat. I couldn’t squat for years. Finally I had enough of being a pussy. I wanted to squat and deadlift again. So I sucked it up and went to a Chiropractor. Some people claim they don’t work, I say they do. I was to the point where I couldn’t even jog, let alone squat. Now I’m back to training 100% with no problems. I owe most of it to my Chiro. Try to find a Chiro with a lifting background.

[quote]Facepalm_Death wrote:

Look, if you can squat ATG no problem as you say, then you don’t have a hip mobility problem. But as I mentioned, your right heel comes up more than the left (both of them should be firmly planted) which does indicate your ankle mobility isn’t up to par. If you allow your heels to raise you’re not going to feel a mobility problem anyway, so how is it obvious to you that the calves ain’t the problem?

[/quote]

I understand.

But how do you explain the hip swing happening at the top of the movement, before the calves are in a stretched position?

The heels come off at the very bottom when the calves are in a stretched position.

I’m not being argumentative, I will stretch my calves anyway, it doesn’t matter, as you caught a problem that needs to be addressed.

I just feel like it’s not the main issue here.

RDLs from behind, the imbalance is clear in this video.

[quote]MisterT wrote:
Do you have any back or hip problems?

How much do you squat?

This is relevant because “don’t fix what ain’t broke”.[/quote]

I don’t have any issues. Just the occasional beat up feeling but nothing major.

I squatted 303 at 132 lbs in a meet. Nothing epic but not terrible either I guess.

Really it doesn’t effect me that much. In fact, its advantageous in hockey since it allows me to make extremely tight right turns for some nice dekes.

I believe as long as you have good form and activate the right muscles, you’ll end up being okay. Lamar Gant did just fine with extreme scoliosis.

[quote]GetLethal wrote:

this video shows one of the correctives. I will try to explain the best I can. Basically we need to learn how to breath first. Lying down on your back you may notice that your ribs flare out. If so this is a big sign that you dont know how to breath properly. So what you want to do when you inhale is to fill up your belly and not your chest as much as you can. Breath into your balls. When you exhale contract your abs and purse your lips to give resistance(the guy in the vid is using a balloon which i think is unnecessary). Try to pull your ribs down into your “front pockets”.

Now in the video he is using a roller inbetween his legs. What you want to do is crush the roller and then try to rotate it counter clockwise, so pushing your right knee towards the ceiling all while trying to posteriorly rotate your pelvis. this is one of the main correctives that is kind of out right now in the strength and conditioning field which I have seen being used. also try to roll out and stretch your left glute, right adducter, right hamstring, and right hip flexor. Hope this could be of use with some further research. This is all I know at the moment. I am not one of these big corrective only type guys either by the way. I compete in strongman and love to throw heavy shit around. I hope this helps.[/quote]

Alright I wanted to wait till I’ve tried this.

I’ve tried it and didn’t notice any difference with regards to symmetry.

I understand how to breathe into my belly because I do the valsalva maneuver when I lift.

I’ll keep going at it I realise it’s not going to show results from the first use.

I’ll add hip flexor stretches to my routine.

I have the exact same problem.

I have absolutely no problem with my squat form up until I start reaching weights that I can feel (150ish), then I start to become very right side-dominant with my squat.

So I decided to see whether it’s a strength issue by trying bw lunges. My left leg couldn’t handle it the moment I took more than a foot or two steps back. My right leg is absolutely fine.

So you might want to check that first. See how much of an imbalance there are between your left and right.

But the underlying issue (I think) was that I noticed that my upper back was shifting to the right when I had lifting weights onto my back. So basically my body shifted so that the weight would be placed onto my right side more than my left. Tried squatting with that consciously corrected with my training weight(165). Hurt my left calf and hip like hell. So another indicator that they were weak as shit.

So I tried fixing it by squatting at a low weight with this in mind for a couple of weeks. It got slightly better, but not much.

I finally “fixed” the issue by just taking a wider grip. I low-bar squat and don’t have great shoulder flexibility. So by taking a wider grip, I allowed the weight to be more evenly distributed across my entire back. It made the whole shifting to the right issue much better; though I still have to consciously correct myself. Now I no longer feel incredible pain on my left hip/calf and can squat 185lb with no issue. I still feel it trying a lot harder than my right side though.

Oh, and now I can bw lunge as well with my left leg as I can with my right. However, right left feels effortless while the left leg has to try.

Sorry for the stream-of-thoughish post. I found this annoying as well and spent a good 3 weeks just trying to figure out what’s going on.

Just try figuring out how much of an imbalance there are between your right and left side, and then try finding out when exactly the shifting to the right occurs. Once you find that, consciously correct it and then continue increasing the weight.

If all else fails, try taking a wider grip. I’m not sure if it’ll work with high-bar, but it was the only solution I found with mine.

As for your left side “something weird but annoying”- Is it like a pinching/weird uncomfortable feeling right above your left hip? I had the same thing. It sort of went away when I decided to actually pay attention to my posture besides standing straight. I now consciously try to keep my shoulders even, which in turns helps to keep your spine and hip straight. I also began basic static stretching and foam-rolling every muscle on the lower body/lower-back. Pain is gone for the most part. So you might want to try these as well.

How do your knees look? The tibia may be rotated more on one side. Try squatting with your right foot turned out a few more degrees then the left. If this fixes the problem look up some drills for fixing external rotation of the tibia.