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Knee Pain When Squatting

i’m getting arthritis in my knees and it painful to do squats anymore, so the Dr. said to stop doing squats. What other exercises could i do to continue a good leg workout?

Go see an ART practitioner and see if they have a different story.

[quote]jnparr wrote:
i’m getting arthritis in my knees and it painful to do squats anymore, so the Dr. said to stop doing squats. What other exercises could i do to continue a good leg workout?

you might want to seek a better diagnosis of what specifically is causing the pain and why (with regards to how you’re squatting and the mechanics of the joint). I bring this up because I can’t think of too many effective leg exercises that aren’t going to require you to bend your knees to some degree.

If you’re having knee pains on squats you’re probably going to have knee pain on other leg exercises as well.

To many to list, every day use google try a new exercise until you find something that works.

Step ups… use the lowest height you can say an inch. Go until you can do 20 pain free with weight in your hands go up 2",3,4 until you reach knee height. If you can ever do knee height you can squat.

Leg press, leg extentions(light weight), leg curls, Stationary(Bike)

Try fish-oil, I had knee pain before and if I squatted down I had to pull myself up because of the pain.

I started with 10 g of fishoil per day and my knees improved so fast it was scary, in 10 days I could squat with weights again.

Definitely worth trying.

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I think some details may help in getting to the heart of the matter. Do your knees hurt only when you squat, or do they hurt doing other exercises? Do you get the pain from doing a lot of weight, a lot of reps, or a combination of the two? Have you tried different variations of the squat (varied stance, placement of the bar, and various foot positions) and which one hurt?

I would recommend trying to find a doctor or therapist that will work with you to figure out your dilemma. The squat is a great exercise. If you have arthritis in your knees, you definitely want the support and stability of strong quads, hamstrings, and glutes. I can’t think of a better exercise to build these up than squats (except maybe deadlifts which really work the posterior chain). Strong legs will definitely help weak knees, so I would only eliminate the squat as a last resort.

what do you do for cardio work and warming up?

any kind of hard core running up stairs or running in general on hard surfaces will aggravate the skeletal system in general. if you are, squats will just further aggravate things. just a thought i had.

i second the comment to seek 2nd/3rd MD opinions and upping your fish oil intake.

good luck.


oh, and don’t do heavy heavy squats for a while.


Using a smith machine can put more pressure on the knees. I avoid it. Also my father’s doctor told him that leg extensions are the worst for the knees (my dad has a torn ACL from a skiing accident).

I know one idea that Mike Boyle and Jason Ferrugia have talked about recently is limiting leg work with heavy compound movements like squats and deadlifts to one day per week. Not sure how often you are hitting your lower body, but if it’s more than once, on the second day try incorporating some single leg work.

  1. Fish oil
  2. Glucosamine + chondroitin + MSM
  3. Wrap your knees tightly when you do squats
  4. Do better warm-ups

That’s what worked for me.

If pain still persist, stop doing squats and explore the medical side of things a little bit closer.

I would find it hard to let go of squats. I’m sticking to overhead squats for a while as my knees are giving me some trouble. It doesn’t hurt to squat, but i get some aching later that day and maybe a few day later.

Where is your knee pain exactly? Have you tried foam rolling?

I’m considering isometrics. I might try them out for a few weeks to give the grinding a rest.