Knee pain from squats is quite common among lifters. And often times it’s because of the technique their using. There are other reasons why, and we’ll discuss them, but the culprit is usually incorrect form. If you’re squatting improperly, not only will you have knee pain, but you can also have hip pain and injure your back. Squatting has to be done with perfect form to prevent injuries to joints and muscles.
The most important thing to do before performing the exercise is to warm up your quads and joints. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get blood flowing in your legs and knees. At any time you feel discomfort or pain when squatting, stop what you’re doing and rack the weight. That’s why it’s as equally important to have someone spot you when squatting. It’s no fun having weight on your back and you tweak something on the way down and can’t come back up. There are some who, no matter their form or posture will never be able to squat because of bad knees, bad back or previous injuries.
Ways To Stop Knee Pain Squats:
Before you begin squatting, make sure you have comfortable shoes. Weightlifting shoes and even old school Chuck Taylor’s are great for squatting and deadlifting. You can also look into getting knee wraps. If you know you have bad knees, it’s a good idea to get you a nice pair of knee wraps. Do a few warm up sets with very light weight. I like to start with very light leg extensions and leg curls. Two sets of each gets the blood flowing and loosens me up for a big leg workout. After you’re warmed up, start out with moderate weight and higher reps. As you start your heavy sets, lower your reps. Squatting excessively heavy weight for many reps is asking for an injury. You should always stop the set once your form starts to break down.
Tips To Avoid Knee Pain When Squatting:
Before you begin, concentrate on moving the weight. When you approach the bar, think about the movement. Start with good posture and bar placement. When squatting, the bar should be on your lower or rear shoulder area. Your hands should be in a comfortable position to where you’re not experiencing shoulder or neck pain. If you do have bad shoulder joints, stretch them a little before starting.
Now we’re all ready to start squatting. With your back straight, start moving your hips downward and pushing them back until they’re lined up with your knees. You don’t want your knees going over your toes. On the way back up, push and drive with your hips and quads. Most of the work should be done by your hips, and followed by your legs and back. The exercise should be smooth with no pain. You will eventually feel a little back tightness once you start progressing and doing high volume leg days.
Another way for some to alleviate knee pain when squatting is to do a wider stance squat or sumo squat. This will generally activate more glutes and hamstrings. Try different stances and see what works for you. Like I said, if you start feeling pain while squatting, stop the exercise. Don’t risk further injury. Critique your form and try adding knee wraps or different shoes. Push your hips back and drive your hips up and forward when you’re coming back up. Start with a weight that you can squat with comfortably.