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Meteoric

Squats, stance, and adductor pain

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I'm going into week 8 of a Stronglifts program, which is mostly going pretty well. A week ago I picked up a copy of Starting Strength, and started applying form corrections from it - most notably, I had been squatting with my feet and knees parallel, and based on SS I started turning them outward (about 30 degrees). This caused significant soreness in... something on my inner thigh, I think adductors? My anatomy is weak, I'm not sure I know the difference between flexors and adductors. It hurts to cross my legs when seated - the actual process of lifting one leg and crossing it over, not sitting there after they're crossed - so whatever muscle that is.

 

At first I figured this was probably normal, that those muscles had to suddenly catch up to 145 pounds instead of starting from the empty bar like everything else did. Now that it's lasted a week without significantly improving, I'm less sure.

 

What, if anything, should I be doing about this? Should I just go back to previous technique? And (although I doubt this is the case) have I possibly somehow injured myself?

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Drink more milk, your adductors have a lot of building to do. Soreness is something of a way of life for a while, and it still is for me. If the soreness ever turns into acute pain then address the problem, but soreness is most likely an indicator of you fixing a problem that you didn't realize that you had. Squatting with your feet turned out gives you a place for your gut to go and also keeps your knees tracking out so the load is distributed across the joint instead of to the inside or outside alone.

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Could simply be your body adapting, Could also be the result of a technique issue with your squat. I'd suggest posting a video form check to rule out the latter. 

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what do you mean when you say knees tracking the toes? also, since i think it's related, how do i fix ankle flexibility issues?

 

When you are at the bottom the the squat, your thighs, knees, lower legs and feet should be in a line above one another.  Like the segments of a crane all folded up (cause that's what you are building).  To the extent that they don't all 'fold' right, there has to be some twisting/torquing/sheering going on, which can cause pain and injury, or at least more stress on the muscles and ligaments.  In another sense, any poor alignment robs from your maximum lift since part of your muscular force is not being applied in the right direction.

 

Its all physics and mechanics....

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You might decrease the weight, take some ibuprofen, eat more protein, and work your way back up with proper form. Maybe do some bodyweight squats on rest days for the stretching.

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Thanks for the tips and the encouragement. I deloaded to 130, did some extra stretches, and otherwise worked through it, and although the soreness isn't totally gone yet, it's milder and continues to improve. The stretches also helped me get my feet and knees out wider comfortably, which in turn seems to take pressure off the adductors.

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My adductors were the worst of my soreness in the beginning as well, it's from the 30 degrees out stance vs forward pointing feet. That stance is recommended specifically to recruit your adductors more. Since they aren't used to doing that work, they get the most sore at first. Make sure you warm up properly and go to full depth during those warm ups, I actually pulled both adductors in my first few months lifting and ended up waddling aroud like a duck for a week or two.

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The day I switched to high bar, olympic style squats was the day that my flexor/adductor problems began. However, I have kept at it. The first warm up set is always the worst. By the time, I am up to a nice weight, say around 315 lbs, they all magically go away. 

 

I also do lots of stretches of the flexors, adductors and about a 5 minute deep squat stretch every morning.

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