Uneven Leg Length/Hips - Back Squats

So, quick overview, I have spondylolithesis and a shorter left leg (very minor)/visually my hips are uneven heights. I was front squatting/trap bar deadlifting for a while without issues but really wanted to try a routine where I could really load the weights.

Started Stronglifts 5x5 and as the back squat weight increases my lower left back (shorter leg side) is very painful and my left glute/hamstring have been so tight I can barely bend over unless I warm up and foam roll. Feels similar to sciatica I’d assume. When I get out of bed it’s bad enough that I can barely extend my whole leg for the first minute being awake.

My question is, are backsquats just never going to be right with uneven legs? Or is there some specific prehab movements I can do to augment this? I have access to foam rollers/lacrosse ball on 2 breaks during work that I can work on this. I do have very tight hamstrings and overall poor flexibility but have made some strides in last few weeks.

Let me know if you can suggest anything!

Thanks a lot

Have you talked with a sports doctor or a physical therapist? Hard to say but if your unable to split the load evenly I’d think heavy weights is a recipe for injury.

I have the same anatomical issue with my right leg being the longest. I got backpains with heavy squatting on the long legged side and a piriformis syndrome. Quit training completely back then/than due to several other reasons. That was one year ago, I’m still having issues because of that. Go see a manual therapist and get yourself orthopedic insoles that atleast make you walk straight.

Back away from the squatting. With one leg longer one side of the hip rises, wich wil put your spine in a compromised scoliosis like position, putting a heavy barbell on a crooked spine is never a good idea


Notice this is quite an old thread Dudeson, just stumbled across it. Thought I’d add that I suffer from similar issues. I have spent quite some time researching it.

3 years ago I had spinal fusion in my lumbar due to spondylolisthesis. My hips were really uneven after the surgery, I have worked hard to level them out and they have improved. I have developed a mild scoliosis in the lumbar due to this imbalance.

I have got back into my training since surgery and feel great, probably the biggest and best I’ve been in over 30 years since I first started weight training. I don’t squat anymore or put weight on my shoulders or above my head any more so as not to put pressure on my spine, considering the scoliosis as you mentioned and spondylolisthesis and would advise others in my situation not too.

I wanted to point out in particular that it is worth people checking their psoas (hip flexor) muscles for tightness. Look up the the Thomas test. I have to continuously stretch one side in particular which is the side the seems to be higher than the other. I think this is the cause of all the other issues, leading to problems with your back, knees and soft tissue imbalances. I use to run 20 miles a week, I think runners are known for shortening of ligaments and tendons, maybe this is what triggered it, who knows, but I have gained significant improvement in hip balance from stretching every day; lower back and hip flexors.