Squat is one of the most important exercises, which helps build explosive strength and power. However, if your hips hurt during squatting, you’re not alone – it’s one of the most common problems. How much the hips hurt can vary from a mild ache that quickly goes away to severe, debilitating pain that makes it hard to walk. The joints might feel stiff and tight, or there might be bruising, redness, tenderness, swelling and warmth in the area around the hips. Read on to learn more about the condition.
Here are the most common reasons why your hips hurt.
Ankle dorsiflexion limitation is one of the most common causes of hip pain in squats. To put it simply, if the ankle doesn’t move appropriately, the motion has to be made up elsewhere, and it’s usually the hips. To test it, kneel with one leg on the ground. Position your front big toe with the width of one hand away from a wall. With good ankle mobility, your knee should be able to touch the wall without lifting your heel. If the problem is in the soft tissue, you will feel the pain in your calf; if it is in the joint, you will feel the pain in the front of the ankle.
A lack of mobility in the hip can cause pain. To test this, lie on your back with one knee bent and the thigh vertical to the ground. Move the foot inward while keeping the thigh vertical; you should have 45 degrees of rotation without pain. Now, move the foot outward. You should have at least 30 degrees of hip rotation without pain. Do this with the other side. Any pain or problems with range of motion indicates hip mobility issues.
This is another reason why hips hurt when squatting. With poor core stability, you will tend to arch your lower back while squatting. The lumbar will be tensed too much, which will cause excessive anterior pelvic tilt. This makes the hips bones pinch the soft tissues, leading to severe pain in the hip area.
Bony abnormalities, Femoral Acetabular Impingement, can also lead to hip pain. Also known as FAI, research has shown that it is quite common and can lead to severe pain; on the other hand, some people who have this problem may experience no pain at all. Fortunately, those who have trouble with FAI can manage this problem by correcting the previous conditions and by the perfecting the squat form.
If your hips hurt while squatting, immediately stop the activity. Rest, ice, heat and painkillers are recommended to relieve the pain. Take three to four weeks off from squatting to allow the area to heal, but if it doesn’t go away or happens every time you squat, it’s time to see the doctor.
While you are waiting for your hip to heal, these exercises can help strengthen it. Do them at least four times per week and continue other exercises that do not involve the hips.
Do your hips hurt when squatting? Try this exercise to increase ankle dorsiflexion.
Do your hips hurt when squatting? This video can help you understand how to alleviate the pain through more proper exercises.