T Nation

Squat form issue


had some hip pain over the last few weeks and watching some of my videos I notice some funky stuff happening with my hips/knees

free squats/something funky with my left knee?

to a box/ this session I did not see any problems

funky hip issue/squatting to a box

all of these sessions were around the same time (two box vids are from the same week free squats is from the week after)

any advice on weaknesses or technique issues that may help fix my squat(all of my old videos dont appear to have the issues that I see in these videos)

a few months ago

not sure what has happened I have been doing the same program for about 6 months now without issue and the only form change I have intentionally made is wrapping my thumb around the bar and bringing my grip in a bit(to alleviate some elbow issues)


Your hips are the weak link in the chain and they are starting to rotate inward when you push out of the hole. Also I think your stance really needs to come in. An easy thing you could try is the hip abductor machine for accessory work. It helped me without too much extra work.


I concur, your hips are your weak link. You're pushing them back a couple of inches out of the hole and turning your squat into a good morning. Strengthen your posterior chain and it should fix things.


I concur, your hips are your weak link. You're thrusting them back a couple of inches out of the hole and you're turning your squat into a good morning. Strengthen your posterior chain and it should fix your problem. Try GHR's, all variations of good mornings, and reverse hypers.


I agree with Shedosk. how often do you do unilateral work? typically you can't get too too much work done on your adductors without those or the machine.

You can see a couple squats in the videos where your foot is trying to rotate out of your shoe. Also, this is a pure guess, and the angle looks too odd to tell, but how far are your knees shooting forward? Make sure they are kept to a minimum with the wide stance you have. Don't focus on that, hard to tell at the angle.

Are you actively trying to push your knees out? if so start, but if not you need to work on your adductors and internal rotators. Make sure they get stronger and more flexible while you're at it. I have issues rolling them, so you can always mimic one of those expensive physical therapy pulsing massagers by just punching your inner thighs as needed.

I think you may benefit from doing some tests for symmetry. Are you aware of any? I'm sure we can gather a list for you if you need them.


shedosk: I will bring my stance in for all of next weeks sessions and add in the abductor machine (I have been feeling that i could probably stand to bring in my stance). Thanks for giving me advice that I can immediately implement without dramatically altering my program

VTT: I dont regularly do unilateral work, when my hip started to act up i exchanged my squat volume work withh bulgarian split squats every other session and it did seem to alleviate a bit of the pain. I should note I did this after the squats on the blue shirt video the next day i did front squats and the day after that was the day i lifted in the undershirt(the other vid where im squatting to a box) and in my opinion there is a significant improvement from the first vid to the second vid.

as for the foot rotating I have actually blown out the side of a pair of chuck t knock offs, is there a solution to this? im planning on trying to squat with my feet less turned out next week, couldd that help?

I do attempt to push my knees out and I have never had any knee buckling issues as far as I know until the new vids posted above(in the free squat video my left knee looks terrible) im not aware of the pulsing massager machine you refer too? link?

my left leg/hip is where i see and feel all the issues (achy left hip for weeks, and just recently my left knee has begun to ach)
the hip pain isnt too bad when squatting and all but goes away after im warmed up, but it makes it unbearable to deadlift with my hips up where i like them(to train around it i have been dropping my hips lower during deads)

thanks again


I'm going to suggest another possible culprit: I'm wondering what your mental cue out of the hole is.

It almost looks like you're trying to shoot your hips up first, which would definitely force you to activate quads first, leading you into a good-morning situation. Have you tried initiating your ascent by driving your traps through the bar? For me, those are two completely different grooves, the latter of which forces me to use my glutes.


squat-365free 405 dump (couldnt control the descent)
365,385,405,425,435 to a box

hip thrustsx5 95-245 adding tens

hip abduction machine, bent knee-120x20 straight 40x20

here is a vid of todays session, brought in squat stance a little tried to shove knees out, keep feet less turned out and after the dump i tried to control the descent. tried to send the hips back.


Much better, I would say! You're still caving just a hair with your knees, but for the most part they are out wide where they belong. The stance is much better and looks much more natural for you. Stick with this for a while and I guarantee your hip will feel better and you'll have much better power out of the hole.


i have the same problem and it was to a much greater degree. i did need to get on the good girl/bad girl machine but the main problem was i wasn't using my glutes correctly out of the hole, it wasn't they were weak it was just that i wasn't using them right and now my squat almost looks good


You're doing great, but you might do better. If the first direction that your knees go on the ascent is to the rear, you've compromised your lower back - your power - your squat. THINK them to the front as you start your ascent. They won't go frontward but this will keep them from going to the rear.

When they go to the rear, your elbows will follow. When this happens, you're gonna lose the pressing aspect of the squat. Remember, it's a total body exercise.

Stay with the FALSE GRIP - no thumbs. It allows the knuckles to be under the bar instead of on top whereas you have to carry them along with everything else.

You're doing terrific! But you're wise seek info to do better.

Please get some better shoes that can handle the downward pressure of all that weight! The shoes you're using will ruin your hips, your feet and who knows what else.


Shedosk: thanks, on top of these im dropping my squat volume down to a more manageable level(2 bs sessions a week and 2 fs) in a couple weeks if the hip doesn't hurt ill probably trade out the fs sessions with bs.
hip is already noticeably better

i have been considering having one of my squat sessions be deep squats(to try to bring up my lagging glutes) and the other session to 12 inch box or slightly below comp depth, i found it much harder to reverse the weight after I break par with the closer stance(you can see in the vid I failed a 405 free squat but was able to go up to a regular weight when working to the box)

Boldar: if you had the same issue is me, is there a cue that helped you activate your glutes?

Kpflorio, thanks for the advice, i feel much tighter when i squat thumbless and will certainly do it as much as possible. I dont understand the cue about sending my knees forward, when I squat my knees do drift forward as I descend(im sure your aware of this, if they drifted backwards I probably wouldnt be able to walk) nonetheless i will see if i can figure it out when i get under the barbell tomorrow(sometimes its hard to understand a cue until your there)
as for the shoes, I squat in chucks, are you recommending i switch to a weightlifting shoe? I had a pair of do-wins for awhile but the heel was raised too high for me. I have considered buying a shoe designed for the powerlifts but do you think it would really make that much of a difference over the chucks?


Okay. From a "horizontal" perspective, your knees seem to be retreating to the rear. I mentioned this as well as "thinking them front." Of course they will not go frontward but such actions will keep them from going to the rear.

I have video from 1989 and thru the years. Keep doing as you do. Create the library. It's free to check out the videos and articles. But look at the poster on SQUATTING and you can see what I'm talking about regarding the knees, the grips and the shoes - among other things.

Squatting is it! It's the king! Keep it up and remember "palms under the bar," not on top! Use them to drive, just as if you're doing a shoulder press.

Sorry about the elbow problem.

I can sympathize as I have bad hips and have had subsequential elbow surgery. Work hard, like you're doing, but don't forget to work smart!

If ever any questions .....!

Get yourself a squatting team that meets every Friday. You know the rack will always be available.

Also, there's a saying of "what you love will kill you." This is my take about squatting. "It kills me as it makes me live .... the way I want!"

Sorry to get philosophical but my gym years have all been based on the squat.

Keep using the video. It's a great teacher and you can't beat the memories. I'd say watch them before a session but watching might take too much out of ya.


Sorry for the late reply. The massager thing is used in physical therapy and in athletic settings sometimes. Essentially it is a hard core vibrator, which serves the same function as a foam roller and sports massage, but much more powerful. http://d3f8w3yx9w99q2.cloudfront.net/1933/core-jeanie-rub-single-speed-vibrating-massager-handheld-massager/core-jeanie-rub-single-speed-vibrating-massager-handheld-massager_2_0.jpg

All it does is massage by vibrating. What I was suggesting, as I've heard they're expensive, is to punch yourself, within reason. I've never found anything better when it came to soft tissue work for the inner thighs than that. Start by massaging your hip flexors then start lightly punching your inner thighs. Looks odd as hell. The goal is to avoid bruising, but still get a little pain in the process, nothing crazy. I had to do this and use a fuck ton of Blue Heat when I did smolov with a super wide stance. I'll post a video if you need it (the punching, not massaging haha) if that didn't make sense.

One thing with the feet/knees. You need to 'spread the floor', as I'm sure you do. Next you need to push the knees out during the entire squat, you can't really push them out too far, so go for it. The last thing that helped me, as it should for you is rotating your feet out. Keep the weight on your mid foot and heel like normal and pretend you are pivoting your toes out [externally rotating]. Your glutes are external rotators, and if they're your' problem this could help a lot. Hope that makes sense...


The one i use is probably not much help....i think to contract my glutes to squat up not stand up. if your squat more than a couple sessions u probably will have hip pain often, it just does that to you even elite lifters that have built up there base over many years have a lot of joint pain. every time it happened to me when i olifted i just took 1 or 2 weeks at low volume (only once a week) and it cleared it right up