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Squat Replacement

Discussion in 'Weight Training/Bulking' started by Hartyoon, Jun 29, 2010.

  1. Hartyoon

    Hartyoon Active Member

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    Hey All -

    I've been training in the gym for the last two months pretty aimlessly, having isolated a muscle a day five days a week.

    I ran into the Starting Strength program two weeks ago and spent the first week on form with low weights.

    Stats -
    Age: 23
    Height: 5'5"
    Weight: 137

    I don't have any prior strength training experience. I do moderate cardio on my mountain bike and play tennis. My goal is strength and lean muscle.

    Current Problem: It's clear to me now I overestimated my capacity to handle these weights and overdid it on the squat.
    My left hip hurts when I get down to parallel and just doesn't feel like it has the mechanical strength to get me out of the hole. I don't think it's the hip flexors. It feels like the joint itself. It's always cracked and felt more awkward than my right hip since years back.

    My questions really are, What can I replace the squat with to continue with my training uninterrupted while it heals? Is there a way to strengthen the joint itself?

    I'm going to incorporate yoga and more stretching into my program.

    Just for extra color, below was the program and weights involved. The pain really kicked in on 6.27.10 after the first set of 140#.

    Any thoughts how to keep things moving? I think the program is solid and was following it closely. I had to swap out the Power Clean for the Pendlay Row since I'm not comfortable with learning the movement myself.

    Thanks!


    Sunday - 6/20/10

    Squat
    3 Warmup Sets, then
    115# 3x5

    Bench Press
    3 Warmup Sets, then
    115# 3x5

    Deadlift
    155# 1x5


    Tuesday - 6/22/10

    Squat
    3 Warmup Sets, then
    125# 3x5

    Standing Press
    1 Warmup Set, then
    65# 3x5

    Pendlay Row
    1 Warmup Set, then
    95# 3x5


    Thursday - 6/24/10

    Squat
    4 Warmup Sets, then
    135# 3x5

    Bench Press
    3 Warmup Sets, then
    125# 3x5

    Deadlift
    185# 1x5


    Sunday - 6/27/10

    Squat
    4 Warmup Sets, then
    140# 1x5 (Could not continue)

    Standing Press
    1 Warmup Set, then
    70# 3x5

    Pendlay Row
    1 Warmup Set, then
    100# 3x5
     
  2. Gordo

    Gordo Well-Known Member

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  3. sevenatenine

    sevenatenine Active Member

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    When you say the joint hurts you you mean the tendon's going into it, or pain actually within the join itself? I have only ever had tendon pain myself, the tendons will strengthen themselves over time lifting, they just don't strengthen as quickly as the muscles.

    Would backing off on the depth a little cause the pain to go away? I'm not a doctor, but pain is your body telling you something and if it doesn't hurt then its usually ok. I know theres the whole "ass to grass or you suck" mentality floating around the internet, but if your body doesn't agree with something you should listen to it. Not to say never go deep, maybe just try a little less ROM for a while until your body fixes itself.
    For alternate exercises there's always the leg press or leg extension's, if your looking for something else you could try lunges or step ups and see how they feel.
     
  4. George

    George Senior Member

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    I would not try to swap out the squat in Starting Strength because the program is built around squatting.

    My advice would be to heal up first. Any lift at all similar to the squat is going to use the hips, so you're kinda stuck there, unless you do something like leg extensions (please don't do Starting Strength with leg extensions).
    Also, keep in mind that taking a few weeks off to heal up is a lot better than messing your hip up much worse. Here's a good article by Matt Rhodes that might be relevant.

    As for your hip pain itself, it might be the hip flexors. I know you said you don't think it's the hip flexors, but I have had something similar happen before (thought good mornings were messing up my hip), and it turned out to be just incredibly tight hip flexors. Try doing this stretch:

    [​IMG]

    Do it often; several times a day, during your warm up, between sets, etc. It's not the end all be all of hip health, but it certainly helps me.

    Once you return to squatting, I would recommend starting too light and only making 5 pound jumps.

    I know this is frustrating, but keep in mind that taking a few weeks off to straighten out this issue is very insignificant when you compare it to the many years of healthy lifting you hopefully have ahead of you.
     
  5. NCNBilly

    NCNBilly Well-Known Member

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    Hack Squats work well. I'd try just squatting with the bar, and really rereading the section in SS about squatting. For the unsupervised, it can take months to get good form.

    If you are injured or have sharp pain, see a doctor. If it aches or just generally hurts, you need to work through it.
     
  6. Hartyoon

    Hartyoon Active Member

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    Ya, thanks guys. It only hurts when I squat to parallel (even with just body weight now) or make weird torquing motions. I can't completely be sure it's the joint but I'll be stretching a lot more now and keep the weights off my hip until it heals, then start up again with low weights and increase slower. Ten pound increases were too much.

    I'll have to make videos for form checks, I'm not too confident in the opinions of those in my gym.

    Otherwise, should I still continue with the Bench Press, Deadlift, Press, and Rows?
     
  7. George

    George Senior Member

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    Yep, unless you find that the deads bother your hip.

    Definitely throw up a video of your squats when you start doing them again. Fixing form problems at this stage isn't such a big deal. Undoing several years of poor form is hard (at least it was for me :lol:).
     
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    You were squatting 3x a week plus deadlifting?

    Could you just be sore ?
     
  9. Hartyoon

    Hartyoon Active Member

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    The deadlift is at most 10 reps a weeks, or 5 depending on timing. I was a little sore in the legs going into Sunday's squat but not enough to explain the pain.
     
  10. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

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    Don't confuse volume with intensity.

    If you're doing heavy five rep sets then that's tougher on your body then an 80% 10 rep set.

    I can't think of a reason to do light weight 5 rep sets so I'm assuming your five reps is pushing you.

    Most people won't squat and deadlift on the same day. Being tired is a good way to end up with bad form and injured.
     
  11. Gance

    Gance Active Member

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    HEAL, take time off from squating if you have to for two weeks even, but you have to heal. You can still do other exercises if you don't have trouble with those, but you can't continue with this injured.

    Drop squats, keep pushing the other exercises, and if possible, try hack squats, (even half squats would be fine if they don't cause trouble) maybe leg curls and extensions if that helps so you can keep your legs moving.

    If it seriously hurts DO NOT EVER push it. I did that with my shoulder, and it was a very stupid thing to do.

    Also, after you heal, check that you are actually using correct form on your squat.
     
  12. toprngr

    toprngr Active Member

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    In the situation that you are currently in, I would recommend you to go for a checkup as the problems might be bigger than you thought. Having such problems might lead to arthritis or problems that are far worse that needs surgery. I would suggest you to checkup and you can try to continue the exercise that you are currently doing but reduce the weight lift part. Don’t carry too much when you are doing squats.
     
  13. MT77

    MT77 Active Member

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    My hips used to ache for the first several months when I started squatting. I started taking a glucosamine supplement and stretching my hip flexors more (exactly as shown in the photo above) and the issue has gone away. At 23 I wouldn't expect you to have a joint lubricity problem, but the glucosamine might do the trick.
     

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