T Nation

Intense Knee Pain While/From Squatting

I’ve been doing a 3x a week, every other day squatting routine for the last few weeks. I’ve seen some pretty tremendous gains from it, but my knees are a mess. They are sore, stiff, creaky, popping and just downright in pain most of the time. I worked up to 275 today, which shouldhave been very easy for me, and had to stop after 2 reps.

I dropped the weight back down to just the bar, and couldn’t move it. I tried every stance, every grip, every bar position. I tried sitting back, dropping into the hole, you name it. My right knee just won’t even move past a certain point. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Have you tried pushing your legs out? What rep range are you using? How long have you been doing 3 days a week? what percentage of one rep max? Have you used ice, or heat yet? How do you warm up? how old are you?

No need to answer the ?? just all things that play a part in bad knees.

I’m not sure what you mean by “pushing my legs out”.

edit: I do know what you mean. Yes, I try and push my legs out when I drop in the hole.

I start with 10 bodyweight squats, then 5 x 45, 5 x 135, 5 x 185, 3 x 225, 3 x 275, 2 x 295, then 315 for a few singles, then I go for one set at 315 for as many as I can get.

This would be my 5th week doing 3x a week.

I have used both ice and heat.

My warm up is my light squatting.

I’m 28 years old.

BA k off the squats for a bit. This is pretty common woth multiple day Squat program. Its from a lack of posterior chain strength. This is what helped me and Larry10 can attest to it as well. Back down on the weight for a few weeks but before every session do some Leg Curls and Romanian Deadlift or GHR getting alot of blood pumped into posterior chain and get the knees moving. Then start your warm up sets of sets of Squats. Atleast twice a week you need to hit your posterior chain and really get the strength up.

Basically your quad dominant and this causing alot of the stress to go onto the knees. I’m willing to bet that right under your knee cap is pretty tensor to the touch. The above in about 3-4 weeks if you will back off the Squat weight you will be ok.

Also a anti-inflamitory before every session will help alot as well.

^^ What he said. I’d go even further if your scared to totally stop, drop the weight down to 225 for a few weeks and work on reps of 10 or more. I promise you won’t lose your strength, to work on the power you can try really exploding.

If your doing singles with 315 you shouldn’t be squatting with more then 80% 3x a week while you in pain.

In general if I’m doing heavy weight I lower the frequency, if I’m going to do a body part 3x a week I lower the weight to no less then 10 reps at least 2 of the times maybe all 3.

If it’s only while squatting your safe but if it’s during other daily activities watch your shoes. They’ll screw with your arch.

[quote]Reed wrote:
BA k off the squats for a bit. This is pretty common woth multiple day Squat program. Its from a lack of posterior chain strength. This is what helped me and Larry10 can attest to it as well. Back down on the weight for a few weeks but before every session do some Leg Curls and Romanian Deadlift or GHR getting alot of blood pumped into posterior chain and get the knees moving. Then start your warm up sets of sets of Squats. Atleast twice a week you need to hit your posterior chain and really get the strength up.

Basically your quad dominant and this causing alot of the stress to go onto the knees. I’m willing to bet that right under your knee cap is pretty tensor to the touch. The above in about 3-4 weeks if you will back off the Squat weight you will be ok.

Also a anti-inflamitory before every session will help alot as well.[/quote]

That’s actually exactly what I did. I stopped squatting, did some ham curls and some romanian deads. I’m going to start my squat sessions with those exercises for a while and back off the weight. I had a feeling that might be causing it. You are totally correct about my knees as well, I’m feeling very sensitive under both knee caps.

Are you sure anti-inflammatories are a good idea? I heard they can stunt natural recovery.

[quote]solarFLARE wrote:

[quote]Reed wrote:
BA k off the squats for a bit. This is pretty common woth multiple day Squat program. Its from a lack of posterior chain strength. This is what helped me and Larry10 can attest to it as well. Back down on the weight for a few weeks but before every session do some Leg Curls and Romanian Deadlift or GHR getting alot of blood pumped into posterior chain and get the knees moving. Then start your warm up sets of sets of Squats. Atleast twice a week you need to hit your posterior chain and really get the strength up.

Basically your quad dominant and this causing alot of the stress to go onto the knees. I’m willing to bet that right under your knee cap is pretty tensor to the touch. The above in about 3-4 weeks if you will back off the Squat weight you will be ok.

Also a anti-inflamitory before every session will help alot as well.[/quote]

That’s actually exactly what I did. I stopped squatting, did some ham curls and some romanian deads. I’m going to start my squat sessions with those exercises for a while and back off the weight. I had a feeling that might be causing it. You are totally correct about my knees as well, I’m feeling very sensitive under both knee caps.

Are you sure anti-inflammatories are a good idea? I heard they can stunt natural recovery.
[/quote]

they’re fine. They’re meant to be a short-term medication, the problems with them come primarily from extended constant use.

Yeah nit a heavy dose of them like I take two ibuprofen before every session involving a knee bend ( Squats and Jerks ) which is only 3-4 days a week at most and don’t take any on off days. I am not and would suggest eating them like candy.

Good points Reed.

You’ve just got some patellar tendonitis… I’ve had it to one degree or another for the last 8 months or so. It’s not exactly an injury, it’s just tight quads, and there are worse things than having tight quads.

What I do is wrap a tensor bandage around my patellars fairly snug and it relieves the majority of pain and I can keep squatting. You’ll have to play around with it a bit to get it right.

Don’t worry, as long as you’re squatting deep there’s no way you can blow out your patellars from squatting… it takes a lot more force than what anyone can put on their backs to do it.

Also, if you’re really sick of the pain, simply getting on your knees and sitting on your heels for a few minutes really loosens up the quads. I don’t personally do it as I love tight quads, you can get out of the hole with anything.

As reed suggested bring up your posterior chain, especially the glutes, as well as keep squatting deep the way you are, and you’ll have a monster squat in no time man.

I would suggest a different loading pattern than simply working up to 315 and doing as many reps as you can 3x a week. I admire your tenacity, but I feel there are better ways. Let me know if you’re interested in a kick ass 3 day a week squat program that’s a bit more structured.

another suggestion is that for the next little while, if you want/can continue to squat, do so, but reduce the weight, but use LONG eccentrics of 3-5 seconds. This will totally take the stretch reflex out and the eccentrics can help with tendon strength. long eccentrics also seem to help improve techneque in general since its hard to have shitty form for 7 seconds straight haha