When you’ve got some hip pain, the squat can be the most painful movement in the gym. Usually the pain occurs in the bottom of the squat and is felt right in the front and or inside of the hip.
A huge part of getting out of hip pain is unloading the painful injured area to allow it to calm down and heal. If you keep squatting through a painful pinch in the front of the hip you risk making it worse over the course of time.
My boss and mentor Mike Reinold has a saying, “addition by subtraction”. Basically if you subtract the movements that are creating pain we end up making progress (addition) where we weren’t before.
That doesn’t mean we have to stop squatting when the hip hurts. Quite the contrary, continuing to squat in a modified fashion can actually help the hip to heal (and continue promoting those squat gainz we want). The magic is in finding the right modification to use to accomplish this.
To help you navigate through the modification process I’ve created principles for the squat to help you find the right squat modification for you when the hip hurts. I’ve also created handy dandy modification infographics to help you navigate the modification waters as well. Before we check that out, here are some basic principles to understand that effect stress in the hip during squatting.
Here are 7 principles that increase stress in the hip during the squat:
Squat Modification Ladder for Hip Pain – When you are unable to eliminate pain by slowing down reps, attempting a higher rep range or modifying technique, use the ladder below to find a pain free squatting variation.
So now you have a plan for your painful hip when squats pop up in your training program. As your pain slowly improves over the next several weeks and months you can also work your way back up this squat modification ladder to get back to your previous squat routine.
Who Doesn’t Love Hip Pain?
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS
How to Use a Training Journal to Modify Training and Reduce Injury Risk
How to Address Hip Shift in the Squat
The Ultimate Guide to Getting Out of Hip Pain and Back to Squatting, Deadlifting and Olympic Lifts
How to Modify the Sumo Deadlift With Hip Pain
Assessing Hip Mobility For Squatting – Individual Differences And Training Considerations
5 Easy Tricks to Try When Athletes Have Painful Pinchy Hips in the Bottom of a Squat
How to Modify the Squat to Eliminate Painful Pinching Hips
A Deep Investigation into the Safety and Performance of the Deep Squat: Part 5 – Hip Health, Should we Squat With the Toes Straight Ahead?