Uneven Squat Stance, Cant get Cozy

Hi All,
Been lifting hard for 25 years or so, competitive powerlifting as well lots of training for football through college, then MMA and other job related S&C things Ive always done. Now in my late 30s Ive had various surgeries and the injuries have piled up over the years. Not until the past year has it been harder and harder to feel like I can get in a symmetrical squat stance and not have pain in my hips, back, or quad/IT bands.

I can bury 315 a$$ to the grass for 20 or 30 reps if I wanted to go for broke, and can hit 405 pause squats all day long going slow and controlled, but dont push it anymore. About a year and a half ago I tore my quad in a few places and partially tore my right IT band. It healed up and I can do everything again full speed, but the squat stance drives me nuts!

I go to lots of physical therapy, do tons of static and dynamic stretching, rolling, get deep tissue/ART once a week with a chiro who works primarily with athletes, and yea I do everything I can but the squat stance doesnt feel right anymore. Over the last 25 years I have had stress fractures in my back and hips from sports and training, evulsion (sp) fracture on left hip, and I have torn both hamstrings, quad, and calves (even tore medial head of left calf in half). I couldnt even remember all the injuries Ive had if I tried.

So, is it just father time catching up with me? Is it possible I have so many quirks and imbalances from multiple injuries over the years that things just dont work as smoothly anymore? I get so much work done on my hips, legs, and back but still the stance doesnt feel right if I try to put my feet in the same position, its like I am cockeyed a bit, and even then its not comfortable to dive bomb heavy squats anymore.

I go slow and controlled with submaximal weights just so it doesnt hurt and I dont risk snapping or ripping anything haha. I miss heavier squatting though and strength level wise I am capabale of it, but my connective tissue and joints just might not be anymore.

Any biomechanical gurus with advice or opinions? Anyone else have the same experience over the years if they have been hitting it a long time, or after a certain injury things just arent the same with a particular exercise?

thanks

All I can recommend is finding exercises, ROM, and angles that do not cause pain. It’s almost a blessing some of the injuries I’ve accumulated over the years. They force me to learn more about myself than I knew as a youth. I’ve been forced to be creative in the gym in finding those sweet spots that give me results.
My training is somewhat limited now in many respects, but so much more sensible and rewarding in what I put in, and what I reap.

Age gracefully, friend!

Thanks brother, I appreciate that. I am so thankful I can still hit the gym everyday, olympic lifting, powerlifting, MMA, speed and agility…but some days I do get that little itch to want to dive bomb glutes to calves some heavy squats as it is the best drug going and Ive tapped that vein so many times I feel like doing it somedays cranking “Glory days” :slight_smile:

Sound advice…much like my doctors, PT, chiro, and even S&C buddies have been telling me for almost ten years now, work around the pain and just enjoy it…which I do…but its good to have reminders like this.

God Bless!

one weird point on angles…if I use chains or bands, it oddly doesnt hurt as bad!!! Like pulling me back a little takes pressure off the IT band/quad area or allows me to hit a groove that isnt as painful…

I obviously cant load it up as much when I am using chains or bands, but maybe Ill try to do them more often just because it doesnt hurt as bad hah

I feel your pain! Out of all of the lifts that could be a problem, the one that has to be my cryptonite is the back aquat! I have had a spondylolisthesis at the L5 vertebrae since I was a teenager. These days, whether I use 95lbs or 300+, like clockwork, within 2 workouts my lower back is totally unstable. I end up banging up my back and having trouble walking for a few days and can’t handle hard training for a couple of weeks.

Even still, I get the itch all the time. I keep thinking that if I just do everything right, I can get over 500 again and be totally fine… just like an alcoholic thinks they can have just one drink and control it haha. I have to remind myself to count my blessings since I can still do oly lifts, front squats, standing presses, and even strict deadlifts.

Ninja Im with you. Ninja and Iron Dwarf maybe we need to start a support group!