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Knee Pain from Leg Day


ive been experiencing knee pain and slight inflammation in my left knee the past few leg days. I've only been training legs for 2 1/2 months.
my leg day is:
jump squat: 3x3
glute bridge: 3x10 (have used 135 for the past month w/ emphasis on glute activation)
and calf raise: 3x10
Today I decided to make it interesting and instead of jump squatting for 3x3 w/ 150 I did 3x15 w/ 100. After the second set my left knee felt sore which I remedied w/ some calf stretches (helps out alot). It was fine during the glute bridges but when I did the calf raises (215 lbs) I stopped after the second set due to knee instability that I was not comfortable w/.
I've had knee sugery 3 years ago due to a torn lateral meniscus. HELP!!! I dont want a repeat incident!
I don"t want to stop jump squats b/c the mass gains have been really exciting! Also, I have no squat rack so it's nice to be able to do a squat variation that requires little weight so that I can clean it and then press it behind my neck.
For more info just ask.


Where is your pain in your knee? You previous knee surgery, was it a menisectomy or meniscal repair? Any other previous knee injuries? How quickly did you jump into jump squats? Any mobility work performed? Any other issues?


I don't think I can help with the knee pain directly, but LevelHeaded is much more qualified than I anyway. I do want to point out from your profile picture that it seems you have some postural issues.

Your left shoulder is elevated compared to your right and your left foot is more laterally rotated than your right. It also seems that your right shoulder is internally rotated and your right hip is higher than your left, although I can't be sure about the latter, as the picture is pretty limiting.

I can't say whether these are related to your knee pain, but it might be worth checking out. If you want me to comment further feel free to post some more detailed images (front and back).


LevelHeaded: The pain is right down the middle of the kneecap. No previous knee injuries but I've sprained my left ankle twice. I normally warm up for the jump squats w/ 10 reps of body weight squats (no jump) then w/ 45 lbs and then 95 (I didn't go to 95 on the day I experienced pain b/c I was topping out at 100). No pre-workout mobility work, it's the kind of thing I do leisurely.

Psynz: You nailed it. Also, my neck tilts forward. I always thought it was from boxing, ya know, tuck your chin, sit into the punch. Anything you can say will help based on that? If you really need pics I'll snap some.


With the location of the pain and without performing a formal evaluation, it sounds like it is either a chondromalacia issue (if the pain is under the patella) or a patellar/quad tendon issue if the pain is more superficial. You also said in your first post you had a previous meniscal surgery. Was this on the same knee that is currently giving you issues or the opposite knee?


gabriel97531, you need to look at how your postural issues fit in with various aspects of your life, as these things don't just occur randomly. Often imbalances can occur in the gym, but we need to remember that gym time typically represents only 4 hours in a week (168hrs), so your lifestyle will be reflected in your posture.

Typically people with internally rotated shoulders and forwarded tilted head spend a lot of their time at a computer with the arms in front of them. This may also be contributed to by more chest work (internal rotation of humerus & protraction of scapula) than back work (external rotation and retraction) at the gym.

It's hard to say why your left shoulder is lower than your right. Do you by any chance spend a lot of time sitting with your left leg crossed underneath you and your right arm extended using a mouse?

It may be tight erectors and quadratus lumborum on your right side, or tight traps and levator scapula on your left, or maybe even scoliosis. The point is that diagnoses on the internet can point you in the right direction, but may very well be wrong.

If your hip, knee and ankle are not aligned properly it may be causing your patella to track incorrectly, which may be contributing your pain. These issues may alternatively be a reflection of your knee problems, or possibly unrelated (less likely). In any case I would go and see someone who can assess you in person.

I don't want to extend beyond my knowledge here as I am still training, so you should probably consult a physical therapist or someone qualified in postural assessment and sports/remedial massage. Until you get this sorted it may be best to stay away from aggravating movements, jump squats included.

Let us know how this progresses.


Yup, it's the same knee. Thinking about seeing a chiro for the postural issues b/c I agree that they may be part of the cause of pain (if not all of it). I'm not exactly made of $ but I think I can cut spending for a couple weeks to see one. I'll keep posting on how I'm doing. Your guys' advice has been extremely helpful, thanks a lot!


Was your meniscal surgery a meniscal repair or menisectomy? Did you go through a proper rehab after that rehab?

You also stated to have only been "training legs for 2 1/2 months". Were you training legs before/after/during the previous meniscal injury?

With the postural issues already pointed out by psynz and the information you have provided already, I am going to assume that you have some significant mobility issues and probably associated poor soft tissue quality. Just going to a chiro is not going to solve the problem. You can get all of the adjustments you want, but if you do not follow them up with rehab, proper movement sequencing, mobility work, etc, you will just go back to the issues you previously had.