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How to Squat Without Knee Pain (4 Mistakes to Avoid)

Learn to squat.

Learn how to squat without knee pain with these helpful tips from Jeremy Ethier.

How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“Today we’ll be covering how to squat properly to avoid knee pain when squatting or knee pain after squats. Squats are a fantastic compound exercise that allows you to develop muscles in your lower body. However, the amount of knee pain people experience following squats has made some wary of using this exercise. A few commonly made and easy to fix mistakes which I will cover in this how to squat video will allow you to safely perform squats without knee pain. I’ll cover what to do if you experience squats pain above knee or squats pain below knee or squatting pain behind the knee.”

Air Squat WODs by BKG How to Squat Properly How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“The most common mistake people make is shifting weight forward and onto their toes; this means that the bar does not travel up vertically as they lift. Instead, this shift in weight transfers load to the knees and surrounding tendons and increase the risk of strain which can cause knee pain after squats or your knees to hurt when squatting. Applying weight through the entire foot will better distribute load across the hips, knees, and ankles.”

How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“Knowing this is not always enough to do it, as stiff ankles are a common problem many athletes suffer from. The test shown in this video can help determine if you have stiff ankles. And if you find out that you do, there are a few options. I would recommend stretching and foam rolling the calves and shins prior to squatting. You could also alter your foot placement; using a wider stance and pointing your toes outwards may help work around a stiff ankle joint.”

How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“Next, the hip flexors are a group of muscles composed of the iliopsoas and the rectus femoris. When activated, they stabilize the trunk, balance your center of gravity, and reduce pressure on the knees. During the squat, actively engage the hip flexors by visualizing these muscles pull you down as you lower the weight. To help do this, you may want to attach and hold onto a band above your head to supply counter resistance as you descend.”

How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“Next, knee valgus is the inward collapse of the knees and is a common mistake people make when learning how to squat properly with weights. This causes instability in the knee and wears away cartilage, causing pain around the knee cap when squatting. To avoid knee valgus, its important to strengthen your gluteus medius muscles group, which is located on the outer aspect of your glutes. Reactive neuromuscular training (RNT) improves coordination and will allows for better activation of the lateral glutes during a squat. As shown in the video, you can use my all-in-one resistance band around your leg during an RNT split squat and force your knees apart to maintain alignment throughout the range of motion. This will strengthen the gluteus medius and help better coordinate its activation during your squat exercises.”

“Lastly, doing too much, too soon is something that many people are guilty of when it comes to working out in the gym. Overloading the muscles and connective tissues can cause tendinopathy and significant pain around the joints. Too much volume can manifest as pain around the tendon attachment points both above and below the knee joint.”

How to Squat Without Knee Pain

“But the good news is that reducing your training load has been shown to completely reverse tendinopathy over just a few weeks. Not everything needs to be reduced right away. Cutting back on some aspects of your lower body workout while being observant of the result this has on the pain in your knees is the way to go.”

“Box squats can also be used here to allow you to control the amount of depth during the squat. According to research, the box squat also allows for more vertical shin angles and limits forward movement of the knees compared to a regular squat; this reduces the amount of stress placed on the knees and likelihood of knee pain.”

Video – How to Squat Without Knee Pain

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