5 Steps to Eliminating Knee-Pain While Squatting.
“I can feel it in my knee(s)”
I hear this more often than not when assessing a new client.
Now there are a myriad of reasons as to why that particular feeling presents itself during a squat.
Instead of trying to make a diagnosis, which is out of my scope of practice, my job as a trainer is to find solutions to problems and get my clients moving pain-free through the greatest range of motion possible.
Without further adieu, here is a quick troubleshooting list to specifically aid in reducing or managing common knee pain during a squat:
1.) Take your shoes off
You don’t learn how to play the piano with mittens. Same idea with squats.
More proprioceptive sensory feedback – you can “feel” what’s happening and also what isn’t happening.
2.) Hip width stance with toes out slightly
This typically allows you to sit down better instead of ‘stacking’ on top of your knees (stacking is where the pain comes from).
If you stand too narrow, your knees end up doing a lot more work than we want them to.
3.) Knees and toes point in same direction
Ensures joints are aligned & eliminates internal torque at the knee.
No matter what your stance is, making sure the knee & ankle are aligned throughout the squat is a priority.
4.) Create external torque
“Screwing your feet into the floor.”
Automatically recruits the glutes and allows the hips to work more during the squat.
Think about spreading the floor with your feet, or "pushing" the floor apart.
5.) Sit back a little first, before sitting down
If the knees are a source of pain, then dive-bombing down through the knees to begin a squat may not be a good idea.
Sit back a little first before breaking at the knees.
Think “horizontal before vertical.”
This load up the heels more, which automatically shifts the weight into the hips more than the knees.
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Written by Jeff Muir. Jeff is the lead trainer at Vagus Fitness. He has over 10 years of experience working with a wide range of clients including those with severe spinal injuries, hip replacements/candidates, knee issues, neck issues and more to improve strength, mobility and function. He has a keen interest in working with 50+, bone and joint issues and clients who are looking for strength and mobility improvements. You can contact Jeff at firstname.lastname@example.org.