Are you suffering from pinchy, tight front of hip pain that is aggravated by squatting? You’re not alone!! This is quite a common complaint in the Crossfit world, especially when people start squatting with increased volume and load without adequate technique and/or mobility.

Take a look at your technique to start

Squat technique is one thing that needs to be addressed in helping to determine the actual cause of the problem. Some things to look for include:

  • Tipping forwards in the descent of the squat
  • Generally leaning forwards throughout the squat
  • Knees coming forwards in the bottom of the squat
  • “Stripper butt” – lifting the butt first when coming out of the bottom of a squat
  • Knees caving in

In a lot of these faults, the common problem is poor glute activation/strength which is often combined with tight anterior structures (hip flexors, quads, TFL). When you are tight anteriorly, it is difficult to activate your glutes effectively and it’s likely your will have an anterior pelvic tilt.  However, some people may actually have a femoral head that is sitting too far forward, causing some degree of impingement. This is usually the result of a tight posterior hip capsule.

One fix for your hip pain

If you are getting hip pain while doing air squats, try this quick deep hip rotator release for 1-2 minutes, then reassess your squat.

  • Do a few air squats paying attention to the type, severity and location of the pain.
  • Take a trigger point ball (lacrosse ball, baseball, etc) and place under your glute on the same side. Make sure you are sitting with your hips/knees fully bent (replicating the deep flexion position in the squat).
  • Put your knees together and feet apart (internal rotation of the hip).
  • Spend 1-2 minutes searching out tight/sore spots in your glutes. You can do some contract/relax if you find a particularly sore spot.
  • Re-assess your air squat. Better? Worse? Same?

    Deep Hip Rotator Release

If it helps, then the problem may be tight posterior hip capsule. If not, there may be another cause that needs to be investigated further such as a hip labrum injury, hip flexor tear, tendinitis/tendinopathy or even referred pain from the lumbar spine/pelvis. MobilizeMe Physiotherapy on the Gold Coast can help resolve that irritating hip pain, book an appointment today so you can get back to doing what you love – Squatting!

The MobilizeMe App is a great source for more hip mobility exercises. Download for FREE today at and reap the benefits of increased mobility!