This is not a medical/health question; this is a question on why doing squats is causing me a burning/painful sensation in my quadriceps. I normally work my legs using squats only for now ... I just did a few reps yesterday with a 50 lb. barbell on my shoulders, full depth, and my quadriceps have a burning, swollen feel ... but this probably has always been. If I do more than, like, 5 reps in a single set I get tremendous pain in the muscles, usually D.O.M.S. If I do low reps it's fine, and I only care for strength and nothing else as part of my workout.

Why would my muscles be getting a swollen, burning like sensation? I have been doing squats for many years (6) and this problem always endues; also similar with other major muscle groups.

Could there be a good reason why something I've been doing years and have experience with (good form as well, etc.) be causing me displeasure from throwing in a few more reps here and there? I mean I walk a lot, but that's a necessity. Most leg work I get is walking.

  • 2
    How many squat workouts do you do in a week and from how long are you experiencing this pain? Jun 17 '14 at 4:50
  • About once a week ... I'm just getting back to squats. The pain usually occurs every other workout.
    – halvey
    Jun 18 '14 at 19:17
  • Sounds a bit like inflammation to me, rather than DOMS. Do you know if you react badly to gluten/dairy?
    – user8119
    Jun 19 '14 at 7:27

Walking is not leg work (unless you are morbidly obese) and getting sore after squatting a 50lb barbell would imply you need to develop more strength in your legs. If this is all you can squat - which would be weird considering you said "I only care for strength and nothing else as part of my workout" - I have to disagree with Macedon93. You should be squatting 3x a week and increasing the poundage each session. The squat is perhaps the single best driver of overall strength, and doing them consistently is a must.

I can't speak to how eating different foods affect your body (except that eating bacon makes you happy) but I can say that soreness caused by a certain movement is most often alleviated by doing that exact same movement. While your condition is not D.O.M.S. as stated above, if the sensation is similar, you simply need to keep squatting. Do goblet squats, sit in the bottom position and push your knees out with your elbows. Try stretching your quads in different ways, ice baths, hot tubs, and take an Ibuprofen before lifting. That can reduce swelling and help you work through any pain that may still exist.


Delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), also called muscle fever, is the pain and stiffness felt in muscles several hours to days after unaccustomed or strenuous exercise.

So your claim that you get "DOMS" after a set of 5 reps is incorrect, unless you have actually squatted already in less than 5 days. (The soreness generally leaves after 5 days.)

Have you been doing your squats inconsistently? My workout regime, for example, involves me doing squats MWF, for 3 sets of 5; increasing 5 lbs/workout. I only get sore for the first week when I take a break longer than a week; it goes away after that.


Your muscles are getting a burning sensation because the fibers are being stimulated and are being forced to do work. This is what exercise (muscle building at least) is all about. You break your body down to build it back up, with proper rest and nutrition, so that it is stronger than it was before.

However, inadequate rest and nutrition will delay your progression with weights and your body's ability to recover. A possible explanation as to why this workout "hurts" still.

  • Squatting should be limited to once a week

  • Overall examination of your Macronutrient intake. Since this is a problem with all of your major muscle groups this seems as the most obvious culprit.

Good luck and keep at it !


Once a week is not very much squatting, and fifty pounds is not a very heavy squat. If you squat more, and more often, your legs will get stronger and stop getting sore from normal workouts like what you describe.

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