View Full Version : Knee and Hip Pain from Squats

Marcus Holden
05-21-2008, 02:28 PM
So, I've had this problem on and off for a few years, but have really noticed it since I've been oly lifting and doing front squats frequently. Basically, I am, and always have been, slightly duckfooted. My ankles don't turn my feet out; rather, my whole legs turn out more than average at the hips.

I've been told that my form on squats is good, but the only way I can avoid lingering knee and hip pain on my left leg when I do squats is to turn my feet out to about 45 degrees and get into a pretty narrow stance. My knees always pass in the direction my toes are pointing, and it feels stable. So, my knees and ankles aren't buckling; I just have to turn the leg outward.

The problem is that this is an unusual landing position for cleans. When I pull really hard on the third pull, I land much wider and with my feet closer to parallel with each other, and can't go deep. I've been gradually working on both a) widening my front squat and b) landing in a narrower position on cleans. I've also been replacing weighted squats the past week or so with single leg pistol squats (rather, I've been trying pistol squats in an effort to even do one good one, but am improving), thinking that there might be a muscle imbalance. I've also been stretching the hall out of my hamstrings and hips. Has anyone else experienced this particular type of discomfort from squatting or cleaning? Any fellow duck-footed types out there? The pain is minor, and goes away when I don't workout, so it isn't worth going to an ortho yet, but I might try to find one who works with weightlifters and see if he can diagnose/fix my problem.

In the meantime, any advice or commisseration would be appreciated.

Dave Van Skike
05-21-2008, 02:40 PM
weird. how are the glutes and piriformis? psoas?

not that I have any ideas... other than don't ingnore even minor knee pain, it can get worse in a hurry.

Marcus Holden
05-21-2008, 02:48 PM
Afraid I don't understand your question. How are they? They're there - truth be told I had to google 'piriformis' and 'psoas.' That reminds, me, however, of something else I've been doing. I've been using these resistance bands, with one end wrapped around my ankle and the other attached to the wall, and just abducting and aducting my leg without my knee bent. I figured that if there was a weakness in the supporting muscles around my hip, that might help. It's too soon to tell if it's making a long-term difference, but the pain is absent or less severe after warming up that way (of course, it could just be the warm up, rather than benefits from strengthening those muscles).

Arden Cogar Jr.
05-21-2008, 03:24 PM
Have you ever foam rolled your IT band? If not, I would highly recommend it.

Have you tried, Rehband warm pants combined with either TK knee bands or Rehband knee bands? That combination rejuvinated my lifting career a few years ago.

Actually foam rolling your entire lower body would be a very good idea. Kinda hard to hit the psoas and some of the more troubling areas, but find the pain and embrace it.

All the best,

Greg Everett
05-21-2008, 03:50 PM
Marcus -

Can you get us photo or video? Typically I see people worrying about positions they don't need to worry about, i.e. you might be totally fine and just feel like you're turned out too much.

Steven Low
05-21-2008, 06:23 PM
Here ya go.... we went over solutions as well for external rotation at the hip.


Marcus Holden
05-22-2008, 08:25 AM
Steven, thanks for the link. I'm going to continue to work on unilateral bodyweight stuff for a while - I can feel my legs getting more limber and stable as I progress on the pistol squats. I'm also going to keep stretching. One thing from that link that I'm not sure about: foam rollers. I go to a crossfit gym, so they have plenty of these, but I'm not really sure what they're for. I sort of know how to use them, from watching others, but is it for stretching? More like a massage?

Steven Low
05-22-2008, 10:11 AM
It's more like massage to break up adhesions in the muscle. Can't replace a good massage, but can be a decent substitute and very good for keeping the muscles functioning well.

Marcus Holden
05-23-2008, 10:35 AM
It's more like massage to break up adhesions in the muscle. Can't replace a good massage, but can be a decent substitute and very good for keeping the muscles functioning well.

Used one for the first time last night and it felt pretty good. Also, the pain isn't getting worse, but it isn't getting better, so I'm going to rest it for a bit. Based on what a few people have told me, and comparing the symptoms with some resources I've found online, I'm almost positive that it's my IT band. I knew based on the type of pain that it wasn't a pain in the muscle, but rather, an inflammation of connective tissue, but I wasn't sure which area was the problem.

So, I'm going to take a week or two off, then do bodyweight leg work and some specific exercises for strengthening my hip abductors. Hopefully, this will do the trick. If not, it's off to the ortho.

Garrett Smith
05-23-2008, 11:19 AM
Search this board, I think it was Dave who posted his past approach to treating his ITB that seemed very comprehensive.