Knee Pain While Squatting

Hey guys, new to the forums here. I am hoping to get some real help with my squats.

I am not new to lifting weights, but I am new to squats. Been a long time since I have been under the bar, and previously, didn’t do much let work because I was younger and dumber.

However, I am changing that. A few weeks ago I joined a local gym, and started doing low bar squats. I have watched quite a few videos, a lot of rippetoes videos on how to correctly squat but I keep having knee pain and can not figure out why.

This gym has ‘trainers’, but I don’t trust them after watching their lack of enthusiasm, and on many accounts sit there and watch there clients conduct an exercise with blatantly poor form/cheating.

Last week,the outside and top of my right knee hurt, today the top of my left knee hurts. I watch my knees in the mirror and they do not come inward and I dont detect much if any movement at all. I conciously try to keep them inline with my toes. However, a day like today I didn’t even get past my warm up with the bar because of the pain and not wanting to continue and seriously hurt myself. Any suggestions?

If I need to post a video of me doing squats with a bar, I can do that at home tonight.

I am 28, 6’0, 235lbs.

Post a video. Knee pain can be the result of a lot of reasons. This can range from exercise form, tight quads, etc.

Ok I’ll get a video up tonight

I’m sure there’s 50 issues with my form, but thats why I am here.

Watching that video myself, I can already tell my knees are doing something they shouldn’t, not sure exactly what it is, but doesn’t look right to me.

You need to sit way further back with your hips! If you look at the heel at the very bottom of the squat you will see it leaves the floor! This means your weight is too far forward, sit back and let your body lean further over toward the ground! Look somewhere about 6 feet in front of you on the ground, this will reduce the amount of knee flexion involved and should make it more comfortable

Thank you sir for your input!

How can I make sure I’m sitting back far enough. Conciously sitting back farther almost makes me feel like I am about to fall backwards. Should it be this way?

For some reason I can’t view the video…

In the picture for the video you are squatting with a broom handle or something equally as light. I find if I’m squatting with anything less than around 20kg I find it harder to lean back and tend to drift forward, putting my weight on my toes (and pressure on my knees). However as I increase weight the load helps me settle and I can sit back more and focus on pushing the weight through my heels.

If you don’t feel comfortable using higher weights and still struggle to sit back more, perhaps try front squatting. Having the weight in front of you helps counterbalance and may allow you to focus on sitting into the squat.

Box squats are another option, although I personally don’t find them much help for me…

You have some pretty long shins. It seems you are inclined to push your knees too far forward. I you find that you lose balance backwards when keeping your shins in a more upright position, try a larger stance. try to focus a bit more on pushing your butt out and away instead of pushing your knees forward.

I have noticed that as I increase weight the knee pain goes away. I wonder if that is from what you were talking about. I will normally warm up with the bar, and 95lbs before putting on the weight I rep with, but by the time I get there my knees are already hurting.

I have widened my stance a little since starting and noticed it help some, but didn’t know how far wide was acceptable before you reach a point of diminishing returns. Widening up definitely feels a lot better, and I feel stronger, but attributed it to a shorter ROM. I’ll open up a little more.

It depends a lot on your body proportions and natural strengths as to how wide you should be squatting. A narrow squat stance will hit the quads more and the knees will generally move over your feet a bit more. Whereas a wider stance will engage your glutes and hips to a larger degree and may help keep you from tracking too far forward.

Again it comes down to your personal physiology and it may take time and practice to find the stance that works for you.

I noticed your knees shoot forward really quite far. That could be it. You don’t need to sit way back, but making sure your weight is on your heels and the outsides of your feet should get you moving better.

Thanks guys, I’m going to give all these a try after I give my knees some rest and give and update.

Been squatting a couple weeks now with no knee issues for the most part. If I let my form slack in the slightest bit I will get knee pain.

Not sure if wider stance makes the lift more difficult? My squat has dropped a good bit since I started with a wider stance.

You don’t trust the trainers but you trust an internet forum with random individuals who could be just as misinformed as those unenthusiastic trainers at your gym?

The difference is, this doesn’t cost me money, so I can’t complain about any bad information I recieve and I believe in collective knowledge.

All it takes is a few seconds of my time to try something someone suggests to see if what they say is true.

The trainers at the gym I have watched them sit there and watch their clients blatanly perform something as simple as a barbell curl with bad form and say nothing, and would rather cut up with the other trainers while their client is trying to perform an exercise than watch and help them. If a trainer can’t correct someone curling or doesn’t even care to, how can I trust them to teach me how to squat?

It takes a couple seconds to see if it’s true huh…
Good luck

We’ll if you don’t trust the people on here then why are you here?