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Quad Injury During Squat


I was doing some low rep, high weight, squats today and was on my second set when something popped in my quad. It felt like 2 pieces of meat being ripped apart inside my leg. It's been about 5 hours and it actually doesn't hurt that bad. Feels like a bruise kinda. Hurts going up stairs and such. I've never had any injuries like this before what do you think it was? A small muscle tear? What should I do to treat it? What could cause it?

I only work legs once a week so I don't think it's overtrained. (I do 5x5 squats, 3x12 leg press, 3x12 front squat, 2x40 leg press, 3x5 romanian dead lifts, 2x12 leg curls, 2x40 single leg curls) could it be from improper warm up? I do squat first and do a couple warm up lifts like 135lbsx5, 225lbsx3, then do a few stretches and then go to my full weight which was 300lbsx5. I am getting old though (39years) so maybe I need to warm up a little more. Any advice to prevent future injuries? Thanks!


Sounds like a muscle tear. Try wrapping your quad during everyday movement to help decrease pain.

In terms of what caused it, I'd say it was most likely partly due to an improper warmup. What exactly does "a few stretches" include? What stretches specifically? How long for each stretch?

You are correct that as you get older, more preparation is needed before lifts. I think a minimum for you for a warmup should be foam rolling, 3-5 dynamic mobility to address quads, hip flexors, hip rotators, ankles, and t-spine, 1-2 glute activation drills, then go into your warm up lifts. 135x3 i would assume is just to "grease the groove" a bit. I'd say stick with 225 x 3, and maybe add a 275x3. All that should honestly take 5-10 minutes tops.


Thanks! What stretches specifically? I don't really know the name of them but it only took maybe 3 minutes..... I rushed it, and I am paying for it! Is anywhere that shows how to do those specific stretches you mentioned? I really don't know what those entail. I did TaeKwonDo for about 15-20 years (I quit about 10 years ago) so I was always super flexible. Now, after doing all this weightlifting and not properly stretching, I am losing my elasticity. Thanks for your help.


Well what muscles did you stretch? Hamstrings? Quads?

My advice would be to look into buying the Magnificent Mobility DVD.


yeah, I stretched hammys, quads, hip rotations, and knee rotations. I did it pretty quickly though.....


What it is: It's a small muscle tear. The muscle has to weld itself back together. Give it time, elevation,
compression, and ice.

Why it happened: Lack of glute activation. Your quad over-compensated and couldn't handle the weight.

How to avoid it: Learn the mind-muscle connection with your glutes. Everybody thinks they know, but they
don't. Do a lot of glute activation exercises. The key is to put a hand on the glute and
make sure the glute is firing before any other muscle even moves. The glute contracts first
and pushes you through the ENTIRE movement. You will eventually learn to do this on the
squat rack. Start with a lower wight though.

Extras: After a couple days and until forever, foam roll your quads everyday and stretch them right after
rolling them. Strech them in between squat sets to make sure they don't want to take over. (Same
advice with the hip flexors). Get your abs and obliques strong and flex them when calling on your


Where in your thigh did this occur, down lower or up higher?


Do you have muscle weakness, if so with what motions? Muscle tears can be partial (i.e. muscle strain), or a full thickness, which would result in profound weakness. If you a significant tear, the treatment of choice is likely surgery.



The tear was down on the lower vl. Actually I feel very little pain and no weakness now. Must have been a small fiber tear. Sure a scary feeling when it happened!