Starting Strength Weekly Report

October 24, 2016

Training Log
Starting Strength Channel
  • Episode 40 - Nutrition Misinformation: Jordan and Rip discuss common misinformation and conventional medical wisdom about creatine, the insulin spike resulting from protein consumption, and muscle protein synthesis.

Under the Bar

rip coaches ed's deadlifts Rip coaching Ed's final set of deadlifts at the Starting Strength Seminar held at Gardiner Athletics this past weekend. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
fivex3 coaching doyle Doyle, age 70, father of Starting Strength Coach Cassi Niemann, works with Starting Strength Coaches Emily and Diego Socolinsky during a One Day Clinic [photo courtesy of FiveX3 Training]
karen darling prs the press Karen Darling and Starting Strength Coach Brent Carter are all smiles with a PR press of 87.5 lbs at Focus Barbell Club in NYC. [photo courtesy of Pete Troupos]
Aaron Renn pulls a 385 deadlift Aaron Renn pulls a 385 deadlift for a 30 lb PR. Renn has has added 240 lbs to his deadlift since starting to train with Wolf about a year and a half ago. [photo courtesy of Michael Wolf]
around the room at a seminar Going around the room to see each lifter's final round of squats at the Starting Strength Seminar. [photo courtesy of Inna Koppel]
eric squats two plates Eric is quickly gaining strength. Here he squats two plates for three sets of five for todays's new personal best. [photo courtesy of Horn Strength & Conditioning]
mark squats 405x5x3 Mark hits a lifetime PR of 405 for three sets of five. [photo courtesy of Horn Strength & Conditioning]

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Best of the Week

Functional leg length discrepancy (laterally tilted pelvis)

The search function returns many threads about leg length discrepancies, and for an anatomical discrepancy your advice is always to shim. I couldn't find any information about functional discrepancies resulting from a laterally tilted pelvis and would like your opinion.

Shortly after I started squatting I noticed an asymmetry in my hips causing a lateral shift in the bottom of the squat. My left iliac crest typically sits about half an inch to an inch above my right one, causing a corresponding asymmetry in my legs. For example, my left kneecap sits higher than the right kneecap when I'm standing with my legs together. The asymmetry is worse the morning after a workout.

I went to my family doctor, who confirmed the hip asymmetry. He measured my legs and did not find a skeletal asymmetry, so he referred me to a PT. The PT gave me some stretches to do. I did the stretches daily and my condition did not change.

I then talked to a powerlifter in my gym, who showed me a trick: if I lie on my back with my knees in the air, put my fists between my knees, and squeeze them hard with my legs for a few seconds, I can sort of "pop" my pelvis back into place (roughly). This helps, though it does not completely fix the problem. But it allows me to squat without a gross asymmetry and I do it now before every workout. (He also confirmed by leveling my hips, putting me on my back and pulling my legs together that there is no skeletal asymmetry.)

I am seeking a more permanent solution, since squatting still feels funny and I walk around the day after squatting feeling lopsided.

The same powerlifter suggested getting Active Release Technique done on my hip musculature. This looks like a targeted massage with some bullshit justification about fascia and trigger points tacked on, so I am skeptical. But perhaps it would help.

What are your thoughts on this? I'm getting frustrated that I can't figure out what the root problem is and how to fix it.

John Petrizzo

Even if you don't have a "true" leg length discrepancy, if one of your legs is "functionally" shorter while you are lifting, it should be shimmed. In my experience, no amount of stretching or ART is going to fix your lateral pelvic tilt for any meaningful length of time.

In my experience, while you may be able to level your pelvis temporarily through manipulations, the shift always returns so even though it is not a true LLD, from a training standpoint, it should be treated like one.

Will Morris

[AndrewStevens90], you are describing a technique in which Osteopaths / PT / Chiropractors manually adjust the pubic symphysis. It "sort of helps" because it manually adjusts one joint out of the three that make up the pelvic ring. Should you find yourself in the hands of a skilled manual therapist who adjusts the two SI joints and then the pubic symphysis, then you follow it up with wearing your lifting belt a bit lower than you are used too, you indeed may find the solution you are seeking.

Best of the Forum

Asymmetrical muscle development

I'm still fairly new into the Novice phase (only squatting 220 lb), and it has become increasingly apparent that my legs are developing quite different from each other. Specifically, what I believe to be the upper part of the Vastus lateralis, and the fact that I seem to lack it completely on my right leg.

Having already used the search function I found several posts indicating scoliosis or asymmetrical leg length as the cause of uneven development. However, I suffer from neither of these. Let alone severe enough to cause the large difference I'm experiencing (about 2 inches when measuring "girth" of the upper leg).

I'm always careful to take an even stance, with the bar centered and level.

I don't suffer from any strength imbalances despite the difference in size - although it is of my opinion that may just be because I'm still very novice.

I don't experience this asymmetry on any other part of my body.

I did do a lot of BMX as a child/teenager, and the more developed leg was my "lead" leg - The leg I always had forward when coasting, jumping and landing. I am unsure if this is related.

I don't care about the "aesthetics" of asymmetrical legs. I'm just concerned; will this cause issues as I progress through and out of the novice phase? Or is it reasonably common and of no concern?

Mark Rippetoe

If your technique is symmetrical, the small leg will either catch up, or it won't. If you make each side contribute the same force, the weak (?) side will adapt.

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