Quad Pain/IT Band issue Quad Pain/IT Band issue

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Thread: Quad Pain/IT Band issue

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2020
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    Default Quad Pain/IT Band issue

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    Apologies for the essay but just to give some background to my situation as i feel it might be important in relation to my current injury issues.

    i played a lot of sport up until the age of 24. Around the age of 22-23 i started lifting weights. Initially, it was mostly upper body work and i put on a decent amount of muscle and gained some strength. i was very small and light before this. However, my leg strength training pretty much only consisted of barbell hack squats and leg extensions. I, ignorantly, thought that the sports training i was doing was enough to strengthen my legs and I didn't need to do that much in the gym. I quit playing sport at 24 to pursue career and did very little in terms of strength training for the next 6-7 apart from upper body work to maintain upper body strength,

    about 5 years ago i went back playing sport at 30 and this is when the injuries started and the realization that my legs were pretty shit lol. i was too top heavy and imbalanced. Driving and sitting at a desk for the previous 5 years didnt help either. I first tore my groin badly in late 2016 and this was proceeded by a series of minor niggles and strains until i tore my left hamstring badly in May 2018. Upon recovery from this injury, i realised I really need to strengthen up my legs and core before ill be able to stay injury free. I started doing barbell squats as well as hack squats, bulgarian splits, squats, lunges and romanian deadlifts. It took me a couple of months to be able to squat. Initially I kept straining my lower back due to bad form and lack of strength in my lower back. Box squats helped me quite a bit and eventually i was able squat without hurting myself albeit with a very low weight. i must have started with just 70kg weight on the bar and was working up gradually until just before christmas 2018 I, stupidly, went and played a game of soccer while fatigued from intense leg workout the previous evening and tore my left quad while kicking the ball. I also, again stupidly, didn't get any physio on it and it took about 4-6 weeks before I could return to squatting again . When i returned to squatting i started to get a sharp stabbing pain above my knee which still plagues me to this day. I'm nearly certain that this pain started after the quad tear but I'm not 100% certain it wasnt there beforehand.

    I kept going with my leg strengthening and thought i had built up a decent level of strength in my legs and was able to squat around 95kg at this point. Then in August 2019 , i tore my right hamstring in a similar fashion to the left one over a year previously. Obviously this was extremely disappointing and took 6 weeks to recover from. Upon recovery in October 2019. i went to a physio to discover why i kept pulling my hamstrings and fully expected to be told that my hamstring strength wasn't good or that my quads to hamstring strength ratio was too great. i did not believe that my quads were weak as I always had decent size there. I was shocked when the results came back. I was pretty much told that my hamstring strength was normal. However, my quad strength was extremely poor. I was pretty shocked and disappointed by this as i felt my hard work in the gym for the year previous hadnt really done anything for me. I felt sorry for myself for a little while and then went straight from the physio to the gym. I went to squat for the first time since my injury and i struggled to squat 70kg.

    I vowed to start from scratch again and worked my ass off from then until now pretty much. My leg workout for the next 6 month consisted of barbell squats, bulgarian split squats, hack squats, romanian deadlifts, walking lunges, calf raises, leg press. i would do about 7 exercises per leg workout and notice my squat increasing pretty much every week. However, the pain above my left knees persisted and was joined by a new problem around December/January, IT Band syndrome in my right leg. i pretty much works through the pain barrier and i can now squat 140kg for 3 reps, a 70kg increase from when i started back last October. I got up to 37.5kg dumbells on the bulgarian split squat also. I discovered Mark Rippletoe's videos on youtube early this year and these have been a great help and tweaks and adjustments I've made since have allowed me to squat more weight.

    Despite my gains though, the pain in my quads persists, as does the IT band syndrome which has brought me here. My quads feel sore pretty much the whole time and take forever to recover after a workout. they always feel tight despite stretching and foam rolling. Believe it or not, the pain is at its worst when i start into my warm up sets of 70kg. as i move up the weight it seems to ease off which is weird. I mainly feel it in the VMO muscles when i descend and the left one feels worse due to the stabbing pain above the knee. Im not lying when i say that squatting 140kg sometimes feels easier than my warm up sets due to this pain. I was squatting with a wide stance but have switched to a narrower stance as i was starting to experience pain in my hips. I have way more power in a narrower shoulder width leg stance but i think this makes my quads hurt more. has anyone else experience this? Ive looked at everything in relation to my form. i make more effort to ensure that i break at the hips before bending my legs. This cue helps a bit but the pain persists afterwards until i go to squat again.


    IN the case of the IT band syndrome, im making a self diagnoses based on what i have read on it. its pretty much a pain from right hip down to the outside of my hip. It gets worse when i squat, particularly when i do the single leg variations or lunges. As stated previously, this started a while back. What is likely to cause IT syndrome if caused by squatting. I never noticed my knees cave in on a squat, which ive read can cause this although thats not to say that it didnt happen at some point early on. I dont feel like my glute medius is weak either and have done exercises to strengthen them. For anyone that suffers from this, how did you get rid of it?

    Is it possible that i over trained when i started back last October and that's caused these problems?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
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    Long Island, NY
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    If you need to write a wall of text it probably means you need a consult and not a quick thing to try to get your training back on track. Will and I have our information at the top of the page.

  3. #3
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    Sep 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick D'Agostino View Post
    If you need to write a wall of text it probably means you need a consult and not a quick thing to try to get your training back on track. Will and I have our information at the top of the page.
    i am actually in Ireland so not an option for me unfortunately.

    apologies for the long post .

    to summarise, i keep getting recurring pain in my quads after squatting.

    have had 2 hamstring tears in 2 years. second one was last August. in light of this i did the biodex test with a physio who informed me that it was actually my quads that were extremely weak. After this i started back into leg strength training again and could only squat 70kg when i started back. I can now squat over 140kg. However, i find my quads get very sore after i train my legs and im not sure if this is down to squats or something else. they remain sore and tight for days after and remain sore when i start doing squats the following week. i warm up with a light weight and these often feel a lot harder than my working sets of 135kg due to the pain.

    Also i developed pain in the outside of my right leg earlier this year. It radiates from my hip down to the outside of my knee and is at the its worst just after i finish my leg workout. normally i push through it but was unable to do any single leg exercises last week. seems like IT band syndrome.

    what im trying to figure out is

    could the pain in my quads be down to weak quads or is it likely form? i can squat 140kg for 3 reps now. I know its not massive weight but its a long way from 70kg almost a year ago. would i be able to squat this weight if they were weak? i have done alot of work in the past year to strengthen them, alot of single leg work included. It frustrating if i still have weakness there as my quads are of decent size. I try to break at the hips first now when i squat which i wasnt doing for the first couple of months. This helps a bit as does widening my stance but widening my stance has caused me hip discomfort and i feel im way more powerful with a narrower stance so reverted to this. other than this i can figure our whats off with my form if that indeed is the cause.

    in relation to the IT band issue, what generally causes this when squatting? i dont recall experiencing knee valgus as i have progressed. is it correct to force my legs out before i descend? i started doing this as i thought it might improve it. other possibility is weak glute medius but im not sure that they are actually weak as again i have done alot of work to strengthen them and they feel like they are working properly.

    i developed these issues early on and have just worked through them until now.

    just looking for any advice from anyone who may have experience similar issues.

  4. #4
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    Sep 2020
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    had to stop squatting today over the quad pain. was worse than usual and very painful coming up out of the hole. notice my legs were shaking alot today also. last two weeks have been awful after i was delighted with myself for squatting 142.5kg for 3 reps the week before.

    can this constant quad pain be caused by weak quads? would i be able to squat that weight with weak quads? im at a loss to know what more i can do regarding strengthening them at this stage. i have done tonnes of single leg work at this stage as well as squats. quads are tight and stiff the whole time . i feel pain when i get out of bed in the morning and push off them to get up. Its the lower quad mainly

  5. #5
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    Jun 2020
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    I havenít read it all so this may not be of any value, but I tore my quad muscle at least 3 or 4 times, took weeks and weeks to heel, was happening when I got to ~120kg( sharp pain when it went). I gave up squats for 3 mths, was too scared, then I discovered from SS, squats is a hips exercise, hips first, stay in the hips, hip drive, etc, that fixed everything, upto 180kg now.

  6. #6
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    Jun 2013
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    STL, MO
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    This helps a bit as does widening my stance but widening my stance has caused me hip discomfort and i feel im way more powerful with a narrower stance so reverted to this.
    That bit caught my eye.

    I had something similar going on last year and stopped squatting for a while because it really got bad. I always knew I had a pretty narrow stance but moving out really felt wrong so I kept going back to narrow. Widening my stance just a little (1-2") and turning my toes out a tad more did away with that quad/IT pain and I got over the hip discomfort pretty quickly. If you have been squatting that way for a while, it will probably take a little while to adjust but sounds like it would be worth a try.

  7. #7
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    Sep 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by BASE View Post
    That bit caught my eye.

    I had something similar going on last year and stopped squatting for a while because it really got bad. I always knew I had a pretty narrow stance but moving out really felt wrong so I kept going back to narrow. Widening my stance just a little (1-2") and turning my toes out a tad more did away with that quad/IT pain and I got over the hip discomfort pretty quickly. If you have been squatting that way for a while, it will probably take a little while to adjust but sounds like it would be worth a try.
    i was squatting with a wider stance up until i started getting pain in my hips as i went up the weight. i still have pain in my quads even with the wider stance but not as bad. i then switched to narrower stance to alleviate the hip pain but my quad pain got worse.

    its been a week since i last squatted and my quads are still in pain when i squat down.

  8. #8
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    Sep 2014
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    Chandler, AZ
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    Video of your squat might help.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2020
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    Quote Originally Posted by RJPinAZ View Post
    Video of your squat might help.







    thats from earlier this evening. i did 3 sets of 130kg. thats my second and third set.

    the most i have squatted is 142.5kg for 3 reps. i dropped back to 130kg and work back up again. i was pyramiding my sets and im not sure this was a good idea.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    starting strength coach development program
    Look at what your knees are doing before and between reps.

    /also, you should really walk out backwards and re rack forwards, but that's not the source of your quad pain.

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