Can Doing Squats Hurt Your Balls?

If you’re working on building muscle mass, squats are a fantastic way to do it. They engage the core and scale well with weights, letting you continue to push yourself as you grow. But some people feel that there might be a downside for dudes in the form of injury to the balls. Exercise coach Lee Hayward has a YouTube show where he graciously answers questions from people all over the world, and this week he takes on a cricket player and lifter from Pakistan who has a problem.

The writer joined a gym a few weeks ago and did some squats. Afterwards, he felt pain and irritation in his left testicle that didn’t seem to subside. The letter goes into some pretty intense detail about his genitals (including telling Hayward that he masturbated and had a headache for the whole day afterwards), but the essential question is valid: can you tear or injure something down there by doing squats, and if so how do you avoid it?

Hayward has some pretty good advice for any aspiring lifters out there on proper form and gym awareness. As for our unlucky writer in Pakistan, if the damage has already been done he should probably go see a doctor and get his area checked out instead of writing to strangers on the Internet about it. That’s good advice for just about everyone.