T Nation

Anyone Here That Doesn't Squat?

I have problems squatting, mostly back squatting, due to knee pain that has come and gone for the past 7 years, which I initially developed from playing basketball in high school, (repetitive jumping/landing) the past 3 monthes it has pretty much stopped me from squatting.

I’ve done some front squats within 20 lb of previous max, but I haven’t been able to back squat to proper depth at all, just high box squats, which still feel akward and hard on my knees and I can’t even do back squats with a broom without pain right now, I find that putting the bar behind my back throws my balance forward and shifts my knees to far forward.

I am thinking right now of giving up back squats completely, and just doing front squats and split squats, what do you guys think? For my goals I just like to lift big weights and I sort of dabble in strongman, I did a couple amateaur comps last year and I want to do some more this summer, and generally they don’t involve too much squatting. Can anyone see any problems this might cause in terms of muscle imbalances?

For the record I’ve been to a dr before and was very unhelpful, I was told to squat very high, and take tylenol to mask the pain basically. The pain is around my knee cap, usually on inner side, but sometimes on the outside as well.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
I have problems squatting, mostly back squatting, due to knee pain that has come and gone for the past 7 years, which I initially developed from playing basketball in high school, (repetitive jumping/landing) the past 3 monthes it has pretty much stopped me from squatting.

I’ve done some front squats within 20 lb of previous max, but I haven’t been able to back squat to proper depth at all, just high box squats, which still feel akward and hard on my knees and I can’t even do back squats with a broom without pain right now, I find that putting the bar behind my back throws my balance forward and shifts my knees to far forward.

I am thinking right now of giving up back squats completely, and just doing front squats and split squats, what do you guys think? For my goals I just like to lift big weights and I sort of dabble in strongman, I did a couple amateaur comps last year and I want to do some more this summer, and generally they don’t involve too much squatting. Can anyone see any problems this might cause in terms of muscle imbalances?

For the record I’ve been to a dr before and was very unhelpful, I was told to squat very high, and take tylenol to mask the pain basically. The pain is around my knee cap, usually on inner side, but sometimes on the outside as well. [/quote]

If you can front squat there probably wont be any imbalence

Anyone here that doesn’t squat…

should squat.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
Anyone here that doesn’t squat…

should squat.[/quote]

try reading the rest of the original post.

Front Squats…split squats…check your weight. Do more posterior chain work if you feel you might have imbalance. Stretch those quads/hammies,ART,foam roller,etc. And find a better doctor…not worth it making things worse if there is indeed a structural problem with your knees.

Post a video of you squatting.

Just displaying some of my occasionaly ignorance. Before you give up squatting you need to understand what is wrong with your knee, you said you’ve been to the doctor? Did he diagnose you with any type of tendonitis, inflammation? Some of these things can be worked around some can not, be sure if you decide to pass on the squats that you perform similar exercises to strengthen the neglected muscles.

I think you’re giving up on back squats too easily, but doing front squats, split squats, lunges, rdl’s, good mornings, etc. will give you good and similar results.

I believe you can develop your legs fine without squats if they cause too much of a problem. If there is truly a problem with your knees that squats aggrivate then don’t do them. I know everyone says you will be small and weak, and gay and whatever if you don’t squat but you can develop your body without them.

The best thing would be to get your knees fixed, but that’s much easier said than done. The next best option is to do what you can. Contrary to popular belief, life is not going to end if you squat with the bar in front instead of back.

Get a GHR and get your hamstrings strong. You should be able to sit back far enough into a box squat that it doesn’t hurt your knees.

You should also check out your mobility t your hips and ankles. Get a copy of Magnificent Mobility. Train your hip adductors and abductors.

I’m confused as to how front squats aren’t affecting your knees if you’re going full depth. There’s nothing wrong with letting your knees go past your toes on a back squat.

Squatting is…

Completely unnecessary for leg hypertrophy.

[quote]Matt McG wrote:
Post a video of you squatting.[/quote]

I don’t own a video capable camera or I would.

[quote]Power GnP wrote:
Just displaying some of my occasionaly ignorance. Before you give up squatting you need to understand what is wrong with your knee, you said you’ve been to the doctor? Did he diagnose you with any type of tendonitis, inflammation? Some of these things can be worked around some can not, be sure if you decide to pass on the squats that you perform similar exercises to strengthen the neglected muscles.[/quote]

No he didn’t tell me nothing, maybe because I’m in Canada but I find very little value in seeing a Dr for anything, because I’ve never gained anything from seeing one.

[quote]dfreezy wrote:
I’m confused as to how front squats aren’t affecting your knees if you’re going full depth. There’s nothing wrong with letting your knees go past your toes on a back squat.[/quote]

It’s not completely pain free but not nearly as painful as back squatting. I find if my knees shift forward at all it hurts, I don’t know why.

[quote]conorh wrote:
Get a GHR and get your hamstrings strong. You should be able to sit back far enough into a box squat that it doesn’t hurt your knees.

You should also check out your mobility t your hips and ankles. Get a copy of Magnificent Mobility. Train your hip adductors and abductors.[/quote]

How strong should they be in comparison? For comparison sake my PB in deadlift is 545, front squat 335, back squat 455-2, although right now I can’t squat shit.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
conorh wrote:
Get a GHR and get your hamstrings strong. You should be able to sit back far enough into a box squat that it doesn’t hurt your knees.

You should also check out your mobility t your hips and ankles. Get a copy of Magnificent Mobility. Train your hip adductors and abductors.

How strong should they be in comparison? For comparison sake my PB in deadlift is 545, front squat 335, back squat 455-2, although right now I can’t squat shit.

[/quote]

I don’ know that there’s really a rule. You seem plenty strong by those numbers. I’ve heard of using the one and a quarter squat to train the VMO, which may help the knees.

Ultimately, if your knees hurt, it’s not normal and you should get them checked out by a pro and work on fixing them.

[quote]Joe84 wrote:
Matt McG wrote:
Post a video of you squatting.

I don’t own a video capable camera or I would. [/quote]

Do you have a camera phone or digital camera with a video feature that you can borrow from a friend?

Depending on how you currently squat, your knees will shift forward more in heeled shoes with a higher bar placement and by breaking at the knees first.

So you could try a low bar position on the back, squatting in flat shoes like converse, and moving the hips back before bending the knees. Widening the stance might help as well. When I squat, my knees barely move forward at all, but I compensate with a lot of forward lean and hip flexion.

-Matt

[quote]Matt McG wrote:
Joe84 wrote:
Matt McG wrote:
Post a video of you squatting.

I don’t own a video capable camera or I would.

Do you have a camera phone or digital camera with a video feature that you can borrow from a friend?

Depending on how you currently squat, your knees will shift forward more in heeled shoes with a higher bar placement and by breaking at the knees first.

So you could try a low bar position on the back, squatting in flat shoes like converse, and moving the hips back before bending the knees. Widening the stance might help as well. When I squat, my knees barely move forward at all, but I compensate with a lot of forward lean and hip flexion.

-Matt

[/quote]

well I use a low bar placement, always have, and I squat in my socks or barefoot.