T Nation

pain when squatting


I recently started squatting westside style. I started at 225 two months ago, and am now up to 405. But now I'm running into a problem. For the last month I've been having increasing pain right at the front of the hip. It's mostly on the right side, but a little on the left as well. I was squatting 2x/week but have had to drop it down to 1 due to the pain. Nothing seems to help. Any suggestions/ideas about what it could be?


Redirect this question to Dr. Gregg. He is an ART provider and he is setting up a practice in Florida. It would be worth your time to visit him. He has helped a number of my clients and is a phenominal guy. He posts on here as Dr. Gregg_ART. Good luck!


Wow, nice strength increase nonetheless.

 What is your height? What is your squat stance (distance between the heels)? What was your squat stance, before you started Westside-style lifting? How far below parallel are you box-squatting? Do your hip joints seem to prefer sumo-style or conventional deadlifts? Do you encounter the same pain if you deadlift sumo style?

 Most lifting injuries aren't single-event trainwrecks. More often, they're chronic injuries that get a little worse each time you do whatever is fucking you up. If you've been lifting for a while, you know the difference between the "normal" pain of muscle strain and the pain that comes with gradually destroying something. If you're doing several exercises for each muscle group, it may be hard to identify the cause of the problem, but when you figure-out what's fucking you up, QUIT DOING IT.


You beat me to the post; I have some similar symptoms as well. Both sides, front of the hip area, almost like it's the top tendon of the quadriceps. I get it more with conventional stance squats, especially when going deep.

Anyhow started some more dedicated quad stretching but hasnt helped all that much. Any input appreciated.


I have the same problem but it is less severe if I have a lot of warm-up sets and stretch the hip flexors before squatting.


first off let me guess you went right into wide stance squating with out breifs???....listen if you plan to squat wide get some dman briefs there cheap and they will keep you healthy....

and you say your training westside style but then you said this...

"I was squatting 2x/week but have had to drop it down to 1 due to the pain"

WHY..the hell were you wide stance squating twice a week???...on max effort day you squat at most 2 times a month and you use a CLOSE STANCE....

whether you squat wide, medium, or close..there are rules ot this game...people have made mistakes so we can learn from them..i hope you learn from yours bro...becuase your health is all you have in this game...bm


Guys try some hip flexor stretches if you are not already doing them. These helped me alot with the same pain in the front of my hip where the thigh muscle insert. Now I squat pain free.
As mentioned read Dr. Gregg had some great advice for this in Tampa-terrys thread 'ART case study'.
To summarise Dr Gregg suggested the functional squat test.

'Have someone watch you and without any weight, feet shoulder width apart slightly externally rotated perform a squat. If your heals raise off the ground then re perform the maneuver concentrating to keep your heels on the ground. Results:

  1. if your torso flexes forward your hip flexors are tight and overpowering your weak back extensors.(Focus: stretch psoas/strength low back)
  2. if your heels were rasing off the ground you probably have heel cord tightness (Focus: stretch Achilles)
  3. if your knees buckle in (focus: adductors)
  4. if you have loss of balance (focus:improve proprioception/balance)
  5. if you have problems going into a deep squat (focus: strengthening glutes)

Hope this helps.


Coach Joe- I'm 5'11" , squat stance now 40", prior squat stance 10" and 20" (which I still incorporate on occasion). I box squat 2" below parallel. My hip joints seem to prefer sumo style and there's no pain when doing them.

like Nitrix I have more pain when doing conventional squats.

big martin- breifs? also I didn't start with the actual westside program, honestly I don't know what it is. I read the article by Dave Tate on how to squat 900 lbs and implemented the techniques he wrote about in it.


when you are box squatting wide stance it should be on your speed day and your box should be at a depth that allows parallel squats. low box squats would typically be a max effort exercise, and as big martin mentioned earlier, the width of the stance is not as wide as your speed squats. the briefs are an excellent idea as they will save your hips.


Ok,,,if you plan to squat how dave is talking about in the article you need some squat briefs...there underware powerlifters use to protect there hips...there failry cheap but for the safety they provide they are so worth it...doing wide stance box squats with out breifs is like playing in the nfl without a helmet...also wide stance squating can only be done 1 time a week for dynamic (speed) box squats...if you plan to squat twice a week you will squat wiht a close stance.....read the 8 keys articles they will awnser many of your questions..bm


Big M is right. In fact, I will go so far as to say the pain you are experiencing is normal and expected given what has occured.

It will probably take a little while to resolve itself as it sounds largely connective tissue related.

Make sure you are warming up and not trying to "push through" to depth until your hips will let you. Some days this takes me 3 sets, some days it takes me 13. I think this is also a mistake people make is getting too aggresive/deep before they are warmed up.

Get briefs or suit bottoms and use the bottoms on this day. It's a matter of staying in one piece.

Trust me, the last thing in the world you need is to tear a hip flexor.....one of the slowest healing injuries around.


There's lotsa good advice in the above replies. All I can add is that you might give it some rest, then, when the pain is 100% gone, go back to wide-stance box squats, at or slightly below parallel, instead of 2" below, only on "dynamic squat" ("lower-body speed") day. Use something like an Inzer "training suit" (half-suit); Inzer briefs may tend to cut into your adductors or crotch enough to discourage their use. Follow Dave Tate's recipies for box squat percentages/sets/reps, after a few warmup sets. If the pain returns, a 40" stance might be a tad wide for your hips. It's partly a matter of attitude and training, but genetics is also a factor. Not every skeleton is made to do its best below-parallel squats with 40" between the heels.
Down the road, I'd be interested in how your "progress is progressing."
Strength & courage,
Coach Joe