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View Full Version : Hip injury and squats


Christian Hansen
05-26-2005, 06:42 AM
About ten years ago I fracture/dislocated (type 2) my hip playing a pickup game of basketball. I went for a closed reduction after consulting with the orthopedic surgeon. Since that time, my activity level fell off dramatically. I believe the injury was caused by poor training (heavy weights/bad form) and was simply exposed by playing ball. Ironically, I believe it was an unbalanced development of my quads to my glutes that might have been the problem. Ten years later, the problem has been exacerbated by favoring the quads as a result of the injury. How can I safely build good low squat form without risking the hip? I am also concerned about the knees as I can see some instabilty due to favoring of my right (uninjured) side. Any ideas or comments would be appreciated.

Ben Krey
05-26-2005, 09:55 AM
How is your hip range of motion now? How low can you get doing air squats?

Christian Hansen
05-26-2005, 08:10 PM
Depends on the form. I can put my *** on my heels and get up (wouldn't try this with weight) but I'm fairly certain the hip is out of the picture and I'm using all quads. Good form would incorporate the glutes and put pressure on the hip I figure, but I really don't know.

Ben Krey
06-01-2005, 09:13 AM
If you are ***-to-ankles with your heels on the ground then you will engage the glutes and hams-- which is a good thing. I would experiment with your flexibility and range of motion to find the most appropriate rock-bottom position. This position will change as your squat matures.

Start off slow and focus on range of motion as much as you do strength. You could practice doing a shoulder stand (like in yoga) while working on hip flexion, extension, rotation and circumduction... then start the motions weightbearing. Squatting with good form is great for hip stability... just take it slow. Only add weight after air squats become second nature.
Hope this helps... get as much information from the veterans of this website as you can.

Ron Nelson
06-01-2005, 09:38 AM
Add some deadlifts (straight leg and regular) and lunges. Both require the posterior chain to get involved in the action and can help develop things more evenly.
Of course, I need to heed my own advice as I'm a lousy squatter!

Alex McClung
06-01-2005, 07:34 PM
I agree with Ron, the Romanian ("straight-leg") Deadlift rules ! Snatch grip, arched back, chin out front, slight bend at the knees = serious posterior recruitment. I add the RDL to nearly every pre-WOD warm-up. Ben also nailed posterior recruitment with the the heels to the ground comment. Going forward onto the balls of the foot or the toes forces quad recruitment, so you gotta stay back. I read that Dan John trains this by slipping a plate under the toes to force the lifter to drive with the heels. I like to do "stretch squats" as part of my warm-up too. Load the bar with a moderate weight (I go about 60% BW), rack into a back squat, drop to a deep squat and just hold it there, letting the weight stretch the squat lower and lower. Ahhh... doesn't that feel good ?

Brian Hand
06-02-2005, 05:55 AM
Christian, good advice, but you might need to go further than just keeping the heels touching the floor at the bottom - you have to keep your weight on your heels. It's a subtle point but it makes a Huge difference.

It may help to do some remedial work for the glutes, just to get them firing (neurologically) again. These remedial exercises are kind of wimpy but they do serve a purpose. One that is might work and isn't too sissified is a band pull-through. Do it with bent knees and an arched back, conciously using the glutes.

Sometimes tight hip flexors are related to weak glutes. Deep lunges are a good hip flexor stretch; walking lunges with a broomstick held overhead will both stretch the hip flexors and make the glutes work.

Ben Krey
06-02-2005, 08:45 AM
I agree with all of the comments RE:posterior recruitment. My main concern would be hip joint stability. Christian, did you have a post-reduction CT scan or MRI?

One thing to add to all the squat advise... Keep body upright and pelvis tilted anterior, and lengthen the hamstrings as much as you can in the down position. Arching the low back will help to engage the hips more.

Christian Hansen
06-06-2005, 08:03 AM
Thanks all. I didn't have a post reduction CT scan although the OS was sports oriented and moved my joint through a number of positions to ensure I would be able to maintain a physically active lifestyle (which sadly I didn't). I've already noticed more glute involvement following some of the recommendations here.

Jeremy Bloniasz
06-06-2005, 09:45 AM
Information I got from another thread I started about flexibility and form was to try to wiggle your toes while doing the squats. This helps to recruit the posterior chain and keeps you off of your toes.

-Jeremy