Squats and knee pain

grapaj
grapaj Posts: 136 Member
I have had knee pain since about the summer after doing barbell squats. I'd been squatting for a about a year up to that point. I deloaded, since I wanted to work on form anyways, and am now back up to where I left off and voila, knee pain. I took a week off from squatting and my knee feels good now.

I'm wondering if I should consider ditching the barbell squats. I hate to do this :(

I'm doing PHUL. Any recommendations for how to proceed without heavy squats in my routine? Substitutions? Or go back to a deloaded weight just to keep the lift in the game?

Thx

Replies

  • questionfear
    questionfear Posts: 527 Member
    So you only get pain when you hit a certain weight on the barbell? Have you tried staying longer at the highest weight you can without pain, and then augmented it with other knee exercises like lunges?
  • alicjakrol
    alicjakrol Posts: 13 Member
    edited June 2016
    The PHUL looks like to have a squat that focuses more on a feet pointed forward (medium width). That places a lot of strain on the quads, which can pull on the kneecap.

    Usually, at least with me, the wider stance, where the inside of the feet lines up with armpit, and feet point outward, seems the least bothersome for my knees.
    Also, shoes can have a huge impact too, if ankles over-pronate, it can cause stress on the knees (they try twist to compensate for the inward roll of the ankle).
  • benjaminhk
    benjaminhk Posts: 353 Member
    alicjakrol wrote: »
    Usually, at least with me, the wider stance, where the inside of the feet lines up with armpit, and feet point outward, seems the least bothersome for my knees.

    This is the same for me. Any kind of squat or leg press exercise where my feet are semi-close together and pointing straight forward seems to bother my knees. I always need my toes pointed somewhat outward.

  • Sharon_C
    Sharon_C Posts: 2,133 Member
    I had the opposite situation. I narrowed my stance and it eliminated the knee pain.
  • grapaj
    grapaj Posts: 136 Member
    I think I do point the toes out but perhaps my stance isn't wide enough. I will play with this tomorrow.

    Thx all.
  • SonyaCele
    SonyaCele Posts: 2,842 Member
    i have old , broken, messed up knees and get knee pain if i'm not careful. Good squat form has been crucial for my knees, a wider stance helps me and really focusing on muscle engagement to keep the weight off the knees and in the muscles where it belongs , and torquing my knees out for the lift, dont let them collaspe in at all. Also really warming up my knees before adding weight helps, i spend a lot of time on mobility and other things to warm them up. I also wear knee sleeves i got from Elitefts. the knee sleeves really make a huge huge huge difference in reducing pain. I wouldn't be able to go heavier than the bar without wearing these. I highly recommend trying a good tight knee sleeve. Its so worth it. i wear them for squats and deads only, i dont wear them for any accessory lifts

    http://www.elitefts.com/shop/power-lifting/powerlifting-wraps/elitefts-heavy-knee-sleeve.html
  • kshama2001
    kshama2001 Posts: 25,584 Member
    Here are the knee strengthening exercises my PT gave me. I've incorporated most of them into my yoga warmups:

    ks3elnfgktdk.jpg

    When I do upper body at the gym, I do these in between sets:

  • grapaj
    grapaj Posts: 136 Member
    I skipped squats today in my program and subbed in leg press. I used a wider foot placement and it felt way better. Will try it with my squats next.
    Thx all.
  • nossmf
    nossmf Posts: 3,288 Member
    Another vote for wide-stance. I switched to sumo squats years ago, more than doubling the weight without the knee pain, so long as I pay careful attention to keep my lower legs vertical (aka thighs far apart) and not let my knees drift in.
  • FitPhillygirl
    FitPhillygirl Posts: 7,124 Member
    edited June 2016
    nossmf wrote: »
    Another vote for wide-stance. I switched to sumo squats years ago, more than doubling the weight without the knee pain, so long as I pay careful attention to keep my lower legs vertical (aka thighs far apart) and not let my knees drift in.

    I do the same as well and it works great when squatting with higher weights as you mentioned. :)
  • scottburger104
    scottburger104 Posts: 90 Member
    have you considered front squats or zercher squats? those tend to be more knee friendly than back squats.
  • Erik8484
    Erik8484 Posts: 460 Member
    Sounds like more foam rolling is called for. Foam rolling fixes every problem
  • gothchiq
    gothchiq Posts: 4,597 Member
    Those exercises are wonderful. I was given them for my chondromalacia. You'll get good results from those if the issue is a muscular imbalance (and it often is.)
  • pdxhak
    pdxhak Posts: 383 Member
    Have you tried wrapping your knees so they are warm? Warm up with another leg exercise before squatting? Or doing a different squat like a landmine squat?