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  • Hip Flexor Pain While Squatting

    I am several weeks into the Starting Strength program and I have been progressing well aside from one major issue: I have hip flexor pain (more significant on the right side but present for both) that persists for hours after my workout. The sensation starts during my bar only warm-ups and increases from there. I have tried researching this issue and understand that it is most likely stemming from a weak postior chain and/or failing to adequately activate my glutes. As a result, I’ve tried adding bodyweight glute activator exercises (like donkey kicks, single leg bridge, etc.) as a warm-up however this did nothing to resolve the issue. I’m also really focusing on engaging the glutes during squats, so much so that I end up cramping...so perhaps this is not the issue?

    I’m worried that sooner rather than later this is going to impact my linear progression, so if I can get it under control before that happens it would really be ideal. Any suggestions on how to resolve this issue would be much appreciated.

    Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question, I look forward to hearing back!

  • #2
    Originally posted by Kimberlyk423 View Post
    I am several weeks into the Starting Strength program and I have been progressing well aside from one major issue: I have hip flexor pain (more significant on the right side but present for both) that persists for hours after my workout. The sensation starts during my bar only warm-ups and increases from there. I have tried researching this issue and understand that it is most likely stemming from a weak postior chain and/or failing to adequately activate my glutes. As a result, I’ve tried adding bodyweight glute activator exercises (like donkey kicks, single leg bridge, etc.) as a warm-up however this did nothing to resolve the issue. I’m also really focusing on engaging the glutes during squats, so much so that I end up cramping...so perhaps this is not the issue?

    I’m worried that sooner rather than later this is going to impact my linear progression, so if I can get it under control before that happens it would really be ideal. Any suggestions on how to resolve this issue would be much appreciated.

    Thank you for the opportunity to ask my question, I look forward to hearing back!
    KimberlyK,

    Thanks for the post.

    To begin, it is highly unlikely that this pain stems from having underactivated glutes, especially considering you're actively undergoing concentric hip extension during the squat, which is a primary glute function. None of the BW "glute activation" exercises are likely to help, as they cannot make you stronger if you already can squat below parallel with even just an empty barbell. Your experience supports this.

    As far as what to do, I have a sneaking suspicion your stance and technique could use some adjustment to facilitate a pain free squat. This may require a coach, depending on where you are located.

    So tl:dr- stop doing glute activation stuff outside of squats and deadlifts, stop squeezing your butt at top of squat, reach out to nearby SS coach or get online form review to fix this problem. Profit.
    Barbell Medicine "With you from bench to bedside"
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    • #3
      Thanks to the OP and Jordan for this post. I am experiencing much less perceived hip flexor pain, as I open up "that area" on the descent. I believe that I was previously using the hip flexor to close the hip angle against the tightness of the glutes to reach depth. After making this correction, I can reach depth easier and set the back angle and knees faster as well.

      Thanks again,
      Nic

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