“Tight Hip Flexors”
It starts with a little tightness in the front of the hip during deep squats. At first it’s more of a nuisance. You just stretch out your hip flexors really well afterwards to make it feel better. Over the course of time it never goes away. Eventually the pain starts getting a little worse. The pinchy tightness starts getting sharp. Your technique starts getting really wonky during squats.
That’s what happened to me and many other athletes I treat regularly. This pinching “tightness” at the front of the hip is actually the opposite of a tight muscle. This tightness is actually compression or “impingement” of some of the structures in the front of the hip (Labrum, anterior hip capsule, rectus femoris, TFL) at the bottom of the squat. The medical terminology for this condition is femoral acetabular impingement. It can occur in athletes who perform a lot of deep squats and is therefore common in powerlifters, olympic weightlifters and CrossFit (TM) athletes. Sometimes this is associated with different boney structure some people have.
At the end range of a squat (deep hip flexion) there are increased compressive forces in the front of the hip. If we throw too much volume or intensity of deep squatting into our program at any given point we can sometimes end up in this situation.
Fortunately for us, if we understand what is going on in the front of the hip when the hip “pinches” in the bottom of a squat we can deal with this effectively and continue working towards our goals without injuring things further.
If you enjoyed this short clip then I wanted to let you know it’s part of a much longer webinar series included with subscription into my Fitness Pain Free Insiders Online Mentoring Program:
I created this series because coaches and personal trainers everywhere are working with athletes in pain every day of the week. This series will tell you exactly what to do (and what not to do) with these athletes so they can continue working towards their goals and prevent injuries in the long haul.
Nothing like a pinchy hip to ruin your squats,
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1
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