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  1. #1
    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    Leg crippling pain after squats

    Hello fellow bodybuilders.
    I have been struggling with this issue for some years now and I think it is time to ask for help.
    Stats: 33year old male, have been working out for about 5-6 years, 1.75m, 70kg.
    I started with back squats about 3-4 years back but started (as usual) with bad form, quarter squat mode. As a result, I injured one knee but recovered with the help of therapy.
    After the recovery, about 2 years back I started doing them again, this time with better form, going much lower and much lighter weight. I have only managed to build up to 60KG (bar included) but have stalled for the last year.
    I can handle the weight no problem. My main issue is recovery.
    If I perform 2 sets of 10 reps with 60kg, the next 3-5 days my legs are destroyed. I have attached a picture with the main areas where I feel the pain. The pain is sharp, throbbing and occurs when I use the posterior muscles of the leg. Walking is mostly fine, but if I try to run, jog or even perform 1 squat with body weight, I am almost crippled for the next few minutes. Getting into a car is difficult, climbing a ladder impossible. Anything that requires me to keep my weight on one leg with a slight flex is next to impossible.
    I hopped it would get better with time and practice, I have tried vitamins and supplements, more/less warm-up, nothing works.
    Not only can I not progress further but my other workouts are compromised for the next days as more complex exercises cannot be performed.
    Other exercises like decline leg press have no such side effects, or at least to nowhere near this degree of damage. Decline leg press with 140KG is OK for me.
    Can anyone offer any guidance ?
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  2. #2
    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    How often are you doing these 60kg squats? How many sets and reps of squats with the workouts?
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  3. #3
    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    How often are you doing these 60kg squats? How many sets and reps of squats with the workouts?
    Hello. I posted above. 2 sets of 10 reps each for one workout. I do 3 sets to warm up, 20kg, 35kg, 50kg.
    Because of the huge recovery time, I can only do them once every 10 days or so.
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    Registered User BeginnerGainz's Avatar
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    Could be your IT band, but hard to say.
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    When I'm crippled 5 out of every 10 days for 2 years straight, I usually adjust my overall program and go to see the doctor at some point too.
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    Registered User letsfixthatform's Avatar
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    To be honest it seems like it may stem from a form issue. Seems like much of the stress is placed on hamstrings. I would definitely see a doc but if they say you are good to go, start working on some glute and hip strengthening Movements. You may have a very weak posterior chain and the stress is being placed on your hammies in the hole. How is your posture? Too many variables to say for certain without witnessing the movements firsthand. Could also try some mobility work.
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    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    I have went to see a doctor but he said I looked fine and if an exercises causes this, stop doing the exercise, LOL.
    I will post a clip with my form. I also have the impression that I am placing too much stress on the hams but I would have thought that the hams would have been built up after all this time.
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  8. #8
    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    Form

    As promised, a clip with my form. Here, I am doing DB squats with 2x20kg. 3 sets of 12 reps of these will yield the same leg pain for about 3 days. Due to pandemic it is harder to get in the gym where I have a barbell.

    You can find a short clip here:
    [youtbe_home] watch?v=IK08LXpZk-w&feature=youtu.be
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    Registered User letsfixthatform's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GunGrave87 View Post
    As promised, a clip with my form. Here, I am doing DB squats with 2x20kg. 3 sets of 12 reps of these will yield the same leg pain for about 3 days. Due to pandemic it is harder to get in the gym where I have a barbell.

    You can find a short clip here:
    [youtbe_home] watch?v=IK08LXpZk-w&feature=youtu.be
    hard to tell but it looks semi decent. Some rounding of the upper back at the bottom. I would suggest doing some goblet squats if all you have are DB's. Look up some squatting videos from Ed Coan and Mark Bell amongst others. Remember that rear squats are primarily a posterior chain movement, especially at the bottom. Front squats place more emphasis on the quads. Also, if you are going to do front squats (goblet, front barbell, zercher, etc.) try not to go high reps. Josh Bryant recommends not going over 8 reps due to upper back fatigue (I still do sets of 10 at times).
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  10. #10
    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    I was doing front squats specifically for this reason, more emphasis on quads rather than hams. So much for my plan
    I moved away from goblet style squats as I feel they place more stress on the lower back with bigger weights and I felt more stress on that then my legs.
    I have a barbell at home, but nothing to place it on to get under and do squats.
    In accordance with your earlier post, I could try doing one workout more glute oriented : barbell hip thrusts + db lunges and then the other workout squats + db lunges.
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  11. #11
    Registered User ofgrammatology's Avatar
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    I see no issues with squat. Beginner squats look like that when a person starts finding his position and in a couple of months they will refine themselves.
    I think, you are just not familiar or accustomed to leg DOMS. leg DOMS is crippling. And since after each workout OP waits 10 days or more DOMS comes back again.
    I would increase the frequency and do squats in 2 different rep ranges every 3 days. have a 3x5 day and have a 3x10 day. in a month or so body will adapt.

    P.S
    I miss the days when squats would fry my legs for days.
    I do have systemic fatigue even now but no DOMS and i miss that
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  12. #12
    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    Well...I could do squats almost with the frequency you suggested, but, as mentioned above, these sever DOMS have been with me for 2 years...no real improvements.
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    Registered User CommitmentRulz's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by GunGrave87 View Post
    Well...I could do squats almost with the frequency you suggested, but, as mentioned above, these sever DOMS have been with me for 2 years...no real improvements.
    And if you ONLY hit legs every 10 days, you'll still have severe pains the next 10 years...
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    Registered User ofgrammatology's Avatar
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    Well why not then try what i suggested for a month and see if things get better?
    Squat 2 days a week. A 3x10 day and take a 2-3 days off and then a 3x5 day with heavier weight.
    Its not much volume at all . If there is pain, well suck it up ( i would never suggest that but seriously at such low volume i.e 6 total sets and over all less weight i.e you are a beginner, i dont see you will snap something up).


    Originally Posted by GunGrave87 View Post
    Well...I could do squats almost with the frequency you suggested, but, as mentioned above, these sever DOMS have been with me for 2 years...no real improvements.
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    Registered User ofgrammatology's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by CommitmentRulz View Post
    And if you ONLY hit legs every 10 days, you'll still have severe pains the next 10 years...
    thats what i expect too. his volume and overall absolute weights arent high enough to cause any other kind of damage. i suspect he gets DOMS and cant handle it. needs frequency increase to get used to it and have body adapt.
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    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    @CommitmentRulz I was doing just these squats every 10 days, I workout legs every 5 days or so.

    @ofgrammatology, okay, will try to increase the leg workout frequency with squats as you suggested. Since every 3 days is way to soon to accommodate anything but a 2 day split, I am probably going to be adding another workout to my 3 day split in which I will do just legs, but just a few sets.
    I will start off with 2 sets squats for 5-6 reps, see how that goes.
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    You have to work through soreness several times before adapting to higher frequency training. The key is to make sure your total weekly workload is initially the same as it was before.

    For example, if you do 6 sets of squats once week, try doing 3 sets twice instead.
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    Originally Posted by GunGrave87 View Post
    You can find a short clip here:
    [youtbe_home] watch?v=IK08LXpZk-w&feature=youtu.be
    You're not hitting parallel consistently. Your feet are not planted. The heels are coming up and you're rolling your right ankle.There are other issues but these are the ones that jumped out.
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    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    @SuffolkPunch
    I think I undestand...previously I was just adding weight/volume until hitting a plateau with recovery. I will try to keep the weekly volume and spread it around in more workout.

    @TolerantLactose
    Thanks for the form analysis, I will try to improve.
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    Registered User GunGrave87's Avatar
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    Well..one year later of absolutely no results, same pain, a back disk protrusion...and I have found the answer.
    What I am getting is a groin strain/pull everytime I do squats, and this is kind of an injury. Can't post link but google will help.
    Thus, I will look into addressing the problem with probably a therapist, getting this injury, even in mild form, is not normal, in my opinion.
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    Doctor told me to stop exercising if this is caused by an exercise, LOL, but I looked fine.
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