Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Favoring One Side When Squatting

From a message board:

Hey guys,
Almost every time I attempt a back squat my body rotates toward the right and almost all the weight seems to be on the right side of my body. I've asked a few people and no one seems to know how to correct this. While I am going down my body rotates to the right and I can't seem to correct it on my own. When I squat without the bar I do not rotate at all. I also tried front squatting the other day, I'm not sure how great my form was, but it didn't seem like I was rotating. Any advice would be appreciated, this is very frustrating.

Thanks a lot

A fairly common issue I see in trainees and on the internet is people favoring one side when squatting. It often looks something like the picture above, but it can also manifest itself with the bar helicoptering as the trainee descends into the hole and/or as they rise from the hole.

A given symptom can mean a host of possible causes, but my first question to a person with this problem is: 'Have you had any knee, hip, shoulder, or ankle issues?' The answer is almost always yes.

After clearing training with a qualified health professional, I generally recommend some unilateral and flexibility work as needed. Foam rolling and other forms of myofascial release (like shiatsu and deep tissue massage) can play a crucial role as well.

Bumping the weight down for a while to work on form is probably prudent, however, that doesn't necessarily mean doing bodyweight or squats with the empty bar - ultimately, you need to do form work with a weight that challenges your form if your goal is to squat well with a challenging weight. That said, if you're having ankle, knee hip, or shoulder issues that are affecting your form, then you probably need to take it easy until those things are dealt with - don't overdo it.

The ideas given in the video I posted/made are a place to start, but if they don't address the underlying issue, they may or may not solve the problem. Figure out what the cause is and correct it would be the best advice. In general, most people have hamstring and hip flexibility issues anyway, so starting there if you don't know where to begin is probably not a bad idea.

Squat Rx #12 (from about 3:40 in) has some things that may be helpful:

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Great video! My client favors her left hip while squatting. This video was just what I needed.