A recent development has occurred in my squats. I seem to be feeling the squats work out my right leg significantly more than my left leg. As far as I can tell my stance is square and I should be using both legs evenly. It also doesn't make sense since I'm sure my right leg is strong than my left, but I may be wrong.

What could cause a squat to work one side more than the other? What should i look for in my form?

  • 2
    Have you ever had your legs checked to be evenly long? I have uneven legs, causing my pelvis to tilt (evening the legs out), which causes funny imbalances in muscles and tendons.
    – Baarn
    Sep 30, 2012 at 20:53
  • no i haven't. that sounds like a possible reason though.
    – DForck42
    Sep 30, 2012 at 23:17
  • 2
    have someone videotape you doing it, then look at the video and see if your stance is as square as you think it is.
    – Robin Ashe
    Oct 1, 2012 at 3:03
  • @robinashe i've posted my videos here: nerdfitness.com/community/…
    – DForck42
    Oct 2, 2012 at 13:56
  • looks good from the side, but would need to see it from the back to be able to see if there's anything off between your left and right side
    – Robin Ashe
    Oct 2, 2012 at 21:07

2 Answers 2


I just came across this article on lateral dominance. Apparently the right leg in most people is more coordinated (this shouldn't be of surprise to most people) but the surprising bit is that the left leg is stronger for most people.

So the majority of studies support that your left leg is the side of choice for strength or balancing needs, whether it be the plant foot before kicking, the takeoff foot for jumping, or the front leg of a baseball swing to stop rotation. Just reflect on how many more soccer players prefer to kick right footed or baseball players choose to hit right handed.

Since this left leg is used for stability, the right leg supports more fine motor coordination, such as providing the right “touch” when striking a soccer ball.

This could explain why you're feeling it in your right leg more - your left leg is probably naturally stronger and makes strength adaptations quicker.

  • I think this is why the self diagnosis of uneven leg lengths is so hard. Erratic walking or running behaviour might be a sign (or walking stairs), but in most cases is simply caused by a dominant leg.
    – Baarn
    Oct 1, 2012 at 20:50

I think I'll write an answer out of my comment to be able to explain a bit further, because you didn't rule it out.

Maybe your legs are unevenly long, this is a pretty common problem. No ones legs are equally long, but for the most people the difference is too small to be noticed. I never noticed it for myself, neither did my father who is a physician, and I never had problems with it when I was young. Maybe it developed during puberty.
When I was 19 however during medical examination for medical service – serving was mandatory in Germany back then – the physician told me that my legs were differing in length, with the right leg about 1cm shorter. Up until to that moment I had never noticed this and I really didn't care about it afterwards.

Some, maybe three years ago, I started to feel pain in my pelvis and my the adductors in the right leg. It wasn't a really stinging pain but just annoying, so I ignored it for a long time. This year after I started being more active and feared that I could suffer long term damage and not be able to continue my sports, I finally decided to visit a Sports Medicine Doctor. He was not able to confirm the difference in my legs any more, because my pelvis has wrangled itself to even the shorter leg out. This causes higher stress on the tendons and especially the points where the muscles are connected to the bones, as these spots get twisted.

There is no good way I know of to diagnose it yourself as the pelvic might have adapted to the problem. I never really experienced the pain to worsen after any cardio activity (cycling, swimming, running), it was just there before and afterwards. But I think that one squatting session I did two weeks ago (without weights) however lead to increased pain.

If you can exclude all other factors, you might see a professional to have this condition checked. I have no idea who, other than a Sports MD is fit to diagnose this, Physiotherapists might be able, too.

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