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Uneven in Bottom of Squat

When I squat down, I typically am leaning most of my weight over to the right side. I noticed this first because my left hip was also sore and my right hip never was. The part of my hip that was sore was the front/side on the left.

I can do a pistol on my right leg but I fall backward when I do a left legged pistol. I took this to mean I had poor dorsiflexion and hip flexion. I’ve stretching before and after workouts (dorsiflexion and hip flexion) for 4 weeks and I still am uneven on the bottom of the squat.

Anyone have ideas or experience with this?

What type of stretching are you doing?

Also, what stretches are you doing?

OP, how bad is it?

Apparently most people do prefer one side over the other and its hard to be 100% symmetrical with your squatting. It can take years to correct. Especially for athletes who prefer one leg over the other(kicking athletes).

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you might have better luck with working on your left leg pistol than with stretching. for carry-over to your squat, i mean. it could be a bunch of different things… do you have an imbalance with step ups as well?

lie on your back holding your lumbar arch (so you can get your fingers and your knuckles between the small of your back and the floor). raise your knees up to your armpits while keeping your back like that - don’t let it get pulled out to flat. basically… squatting lying down. do you find there is an imbalance in how high you can raise the different legs? you might find a position around there where you can hold your leg and get a bit of a stretch… some place where your hip flexor and lower back are competing for control of your leg. you might find that…

i fall over backwards when my hip flexors relax (when i ‘drop into’ a squat) instead of thinking to ‘pull myself down into it’ maintaining tension in my hip flexors / holding my back position. it might be that your lumbar arch is winning on your left side which is why you get the falling over backwards thing going on. perhaps. do you have a glute imbalance (e.g., one leg bridges)

Sentoguy: I was doing the “Couch Stretch” (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ZX1QMTdAC4 shows you at 2:30) and just the regular calf stretch (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4cpBBDVGGU around 3:15) for 30 seconds at the beginning and 2 x :30 at the end. I did contract-relax on both. I definitely am more flexible on my left side now due to the stretching, but when I squat the problem is still there.

theBird: It is pretty bad if I don’t think about it (which I have changed) if I just plop down I am pretty off my center. A fairly accurate example would be like this: http://www.tru-strength.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Sheldon-105-kg-snatch-catch-LAS-961x500.jpg. My right hamstring is typically closer to my calf (I only go to parallel not ass-to-grass) and the external rotation of my left leg looks suspect compared to my right, judging from the knees over my feet.

alexus: I have never thought about imbalances in my set up… My hands definitely stay even on the bar, but I don’t know if the bar stays even on me. I will check that out and let you know. As for the test, I checked it out and my left side can touch closer to my chest but my lumbar curve breaks more (squeezes to the ground more) even if I try not to! So hamstring/back thing maybe??

Thanks for the feedback, I appreciate the insight and help

Some things I just thought about:

When I do the calf stretch, I feel it in my hip as well. Even if I’m bending my knee or keeping it straight.

And to expand on the comment: “how bad is it” if I actively keep it even, it looks even but it definitely doesn’t feel even. My right side is always more tight which may be cause I have always been using it more… not sure. But idk if that helps.

sure dude. thats what i said. check your setup and stretch your hamstrings.

Why were you doing a quad and hip flexor stretch for squatting? The Calf stretch makes sense (as long as it’s a bent leg/Soleus calf stretch) as ankle mobility can definitely limit squatting depth.

Contract-Relax is an excellent method of stretching post workout, but I would advise against it pre-workout/during your warm-up. Also, for big muscles like hamstrings, glutes, adductors and Soleus you will see better results holding both the contraction for 10 seconds and the final hold position longer than 30 seconds (more like 1 minute or longer).

My set-up favored my right side, the bar was more shifted to the right. So I will have to fix that for sure. Thanks for the insight on that one!

Sentoguy, know that you ask that, I have no idea why I thought that would help my squat. And thanks for the advice. I’ll try that this time around.

Any chance you could post a pic of the squat? It would help a lot to see you at the bottom.

Might be a strange suggestion but if you take a staggered stance when squatting (so one foot a inch or two further forward ala Klokov deadlift ) do you have same problem ?