T Nation

Tight Hips while Squatting


This is my first post here, and I am sorry if this topic has been discussed before. I’ve noticed that lately my hips and hamstrings have been tight while I’m squatting. A little bit of background on me: I’m 24 years old and I previously lifted and worked out a lot when I was in high school, up to about 6 months after I got out of the U.S. Marine Corps at 22. I started feeling the delayed effects of a back injury I had when I was in the marines and it took me a while to be able to workout as hard as I used to. I’ve been squatting and deadlifting again for the last 6 months and now I’m starting to have the pain back again. Is there anything I can do to fix this problem or prevent it from getting worse?


Smart thing would be to see a professional to make sure your spine is relatively healthy and go from there. If there is no issues found and it’s sound then address other issues. Be it a form or mobility issue or excessive work load.


post videos of a deadlift and a squat at somewhere from 70-90% of your 1 rep max.


I got an x ray done a while back and I have one disc that was fractured but healed and they said I have degenerative disc disease. Do you think its worth it to have another xray done?


Oddly enough, aside from the tight hips when squatting, this is the best my back has felt since I injured it


how long ago is ‘awhile back?’ Do you mean several years ago? Or 4 months ago? Somewhere in between?

Also, why are you squatting and deadlifting in the first place? Is it because you just love to squat and deadlift? Do you compete in any strength sports? are you just trying to look good? answering these questions is important, because if these movements are likely to give you chronic issues, there may be a way to work around them, depending on your goals.


Sorry to hear about it bud… Ill be honest it would be irresponsible for me to give you in-depth advice since your issue is above my pay grade.
I will say that I would suggest getting more input from a physician regarding any restrictions you might have to prevent making matters worse…
Also take heed on what @flipcollar has stated already.


I had the xray done done about a year ago. I’m not competing in strength sports, I used to train Brazilian jiu jitsu and muay thai and plan to again, once I can afford it (I’m in a electrician apprenticeship and not making much at the moment). My goal is simply to get stronger for those sports, which is why I’m squatting and deadlifting. Also I love squatting and deadlifting. I’ll get my wife to film me squatting and deadlifting on Saturday and post the video here.


It’s all good man, it sucks but it’s life and there isn’t anything I can do but do my best to deal with it. Oddly enough deadlifting isn’t usually an issue and neither is front squatting. Maybe I should stick with front squats? Im not against going to a doctor, but I know how slow the VA is and the pain isn’t interfering with anything else at the moment.



-If you actually do have degenerative disc disease then you need to do what the doctors say or you will be handicapped in no time, but this needs to be confirmed.

-There is a good chance you aren’t bracing properly which is leading to back pain. Various bracing drills like plank variations, ab wheel rollouts, and deadbugs can help, but you have to do them while bracing hard. Look up “McGill Big 3”, those will help with bracing and are commonly prescribed to people with back pain/injuries.

-Tight hamstrings shouldn’t be an issue while squatting, your hamstrings are not in a lengthened position at the bottom of a squat because although your hips flex your knees also bend. If you hips feel tight then do squat stretches, sit in a full squat for 30 seconds, 3-6 times. You can do that every day, just not right before training.


Again I would like to give you advice to help you out… But, Im not qualified due to your possible issue.( along with a large % on here)


Well I definitely have DDD and the doctors at the VA pretty much just gave me some pills and gave me an appointment for physical therapy. Physical therapy, atleast at the va facility I went to, was a joke. They gave me some stretches to do and out the door I went. Since then I’ve been stretching and working out on my own and it has improved.

As far as lifting is concerned they did specify not to load too much weight on my spine, which is why I was thinking front squats would be a good alternative… come to think about it I believe my doctor did mention strengthening my core. Perhaps I should’ve followed thier advice sooner… oh well lol. I’ll look into McGill big 3 training and try out those stretches. Thanks!


Look online for info about DDD. There is an older guy in my neighborhood that I know from the gym that has it, he is on disability and can’t even work out at all anymore, prescription marijuana and who knows what else. If you are in the early stages you don’t want to push yourself too hard or you will be totally fucked in a short time.


I am aware of the risks that’s why I am searching for a solution instead of blatantly ignoring it.


I doubt there is anyone on here who is qualified to give you the advice you need for your condition.