Using front squats in place of back squats for hip injury
I've been following your novice program after converting from the stronglifts one a couple months ago and was wondering if I could get your advice on my squat situation.
I've developed an injury in my right front hip region, right on the hip crease above the quad that causes acute pain when I squat or lift my right knee high up. After considering my technique and reading similar posts on your forum I suspect it may have been caused by knees sliding forward at the bottom of the squat.
In any case the condition was brought on gradually (so possibly a tendinitis issue?) and I have had to stop squatting for a month as per the doctors orders whilst taking crap loads of NSAIDS to reduce the inflammation.
In any case, I've been keenly stretching and foam rolling the hip, quad and hamstring region during this time. After attempting to squat again I still felt the same pain flare up. Because the pain didn't go away with NSAIDS im assuming its probably more serious that inflammation.
So I have two questions for you:
1. Do you know what the injury might be and if so what can I do about it?
2. Can I use front squats as a replacement for the back squat in an attempt to reduce the pressure at this particular hip region?
The reason I was thinking this may help was because after looking at the diagrams of squat positions in your book I realized that the hip angle in the front squat is more open whilst the knee angle is more closed in order to keep the back upright and balance the bar over the mid foot. So under that condition wouldn't the pressure on the hip be less whilst the knee pressure greater when compared to the low bar back squat?
If so then this might allow me to continue to squat without substantially screwing up the programming for my other lifts.
Thanks for taking the time to read this and hope you can help
How would an injury probably caused by knees moving forward be helped by a form of the squat that requires the knees to move forward?
Ha, I see your point.
Well I think my knees move forward at the bottom of the back squat when the knees are supposed to be more or less fixed at that point, that coupled with relatively heavy weights seems to have put excess pressure on the hip region over time. But with the front squat where the knees move and stay forward to keep the weight balanced, keeps more of the pressure directed towards the knees and quads as opposed to the hip and hamstrings. Im not sure if this last statement is true or not but it seems to make sense considering the differences in muscular involvement in the two types of squats. After all the back squat has more posterior chain activation, I want to squat with less in order to preserve the hip or at least allow me to continue to squat. If im mistaken, then what would you recommend I do?
I would not be surprised if he pinched his labrum by letting his knees slide back, closing his hip angle. Based upon the recent spate of videos in the technique forum where a plenitude of folk seem to be unable to maintain their back angle driving up out of the hole all of a sudden. If that's the case, nsaids and proper squatting, especially knees out, with a slightly wider than normal stance (Stef noticed this when I squat, and yes, it's how I'm coping with two torn labrae...) will help. A video is in order.
I bet you ten bucks it's because you're not pushing your knees out, not because they're going forward.
That's actually correct. So what you do is figure out a way to squat that produces no hip flexor tension at the bottom -- you squat with as vertical a shin as you can hold.
Originally Posted by Bazman
Would something like box squats help him?
Originally Posted by Mark Rippetoe
Steve, after googling the labrum it does seem like the injury could be related to that joint area, since that's where the pain seems to be localized. If it is, then wouldn't squatting stop that area from healing, even with the correct knees out position?
Tertius, what makes you think its because of the knees not being pushed out? In any case, you might be right, ill pay extra attention to this the next time I squat, thanks!
Mark, so when you say vertical shin position, would I have to push my hips back further in order to achieve this, similar to the power lifting position?
I gave myself tendinitis right where you're talking about, by not keeping my knees out. If you are letting your knees go forward (which you should check with the helpful block of wood), doing knees out will help that too. It's much harder to squat badly if you shove your damn knees out, I've discovered. A lot of the other stuff (hip back, etc) seems to fix itself.
Originally Posted by Bazman
Perhaps this is why Rip is fond of yelling it at people.