Squats and burning sensation

I just switched lately from a high rep program to a low rep program. During the past 2 weeks while I was squating, I’ve been getting a burning sensation just below my lower abs. It only kicks in during heavy sets of 3-5 reps. I also squat ass to grass with no belt. It doesn’t get sore the next day and I can’t figure out what it is caused from. Any suggestions?

I would look at transverse abdominis, the deep abdominal girdle as a cause and if this is so you may be in danger of a hernia. I cannot diagnose or prescribe anything as such but I try to tighten the transverse abdominis to stop the burn if it is the same thing. This is similar to the vacuum pose. I dont know if you use the westside pressurisation method or if this is as effective so we’ll have to pray Goldberg or someone comes through.

For now here is some Paul Check Articles on the core.

Squats, hit the Abs area. Maybe,your weak in the abominal muscles. You may want work them also.

In Health,

Silas C.

'Long as it’s a uniform burn across the general area I would not worry. If it’s unilateral and localized could be the start of a hernia.

I had a similar experience while lunging with heavy weight, but it was in my upper glute area, right at the top of my ass crack. It burned and felt like something was shocking me. Haven’t done lunges since then.

Da Boxer

I had the same thing when i went heavy. I pulled my illiopsoas. ART fixed it up just fine.

I don’t think it is weak abdominals. I work my abs pretty hared with weighted decline situps , weighted crunches, and leg raises. My abs are actually pretty strong.


I’m going to revert from my normal and give a less-than-adequate response.

I’ve experienced this in the past, as well; however, it occurred more so when I used a belt in the past, which I no longer see a need for, even with low reps such as yourself. Anyway, when taking a squat ass to heels, I tend to flex forward pretty decently at my back. My only suggestion is that this causes some unordinary pushing and squeezing of certain organs/muscles in the abdominal region.

My main suggestion is to just keep that back arched as well as possible and terminate the set if you feel the arch slip–as my experiences have usually come when attempting to take a set too far.

Its funny how my response was ignored when i had this not two months ago and it was my illiopsoas even though i thought it was my lower abdominals. There is a good chance that is what it is.

I wasn’t ignoring your post Goldberg. I just haven’t had time to post too much today. What exactly is the illiopsaos? And I don’t have ART in my neck of the woods.

hip flexor

Goldberg’s just getting all technical and shit. Illiopsoas, indeed.

But I think he’s right. :-))

its what dr. dave said.

I too have had this sensation as recent as 3-4 weeks ago and prior to that 4 weeks. It was the first time I used a belt was doing some deep deads, and the second time band squats. I have never had a hernia but I do think its hip flexor as well, as another friend that powerlifts has had the same thing. It went away the first time and went away again. I dont feel it now.

In my pic in the photo forum, Marc McDougal pointed out that it looked like I had an anterior pelvic tilt. Could this have anything to do with my burning sensation. Also, how could I fix or avoid this problem. Like I said, I don’t have ART around here.


You may have struck oil. If you have an anterior pelvic tilt you have one or all of the below; Strong or tight hip flexors, erector spinae and or rectus femoris combined with weak/er abdominal muscles and glute/ham complex. The hip flexors attach to the lumbar region causing a pot belly curve to the lower back. ES contribute to this. Rectus femoris attach to the pelvis. The weak glute/ham/abdominal regions are supposed to counteract this.

Your problem taking training into consideration is likely to be tight hip flexors and weak transverse abdominis.

I suggest you look up an anatomy text; there are adequate ones online. Also Check out the links in my previous post. I would also recomment Ian Kings “The Lazy Mans Guide to Stretching” - Strength Training, Bodybuilding & Online Supplement Store - T NATION

Actually, I just started some power breathing to work the TA. This is also the first time that I’ve actually worked the TA directly. I’ve also started incorporating hip flexor stretches, which I got from Marc McDougal.

ding, ding, ding. We have a winner. thats where my problem came from. Ive had groin/hip flexor problems dating back to when i was 12. Im sure my previous injuries had generated some scar tissue and kept things from working properly.
And i would rethink the TVA thing. A much more effective way to use the abs is to pull as much air in your belly as possible and push your abs out. Try it one time and you will see the difference in stability.

It’s probably the iliopsoas, or possibly an adhesion between the iliopsoas and the rectus femoris which is also a hip flexor. I doubt it’s an injury to the abdominals.