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Knee Trouble, Can I Still Squat?

I have some knee trouble, can i still do squats? And if so, how do i work up to them? I have20-30lb dumbells (I work out at home)should i squat w/ these? Or start w/ my bodyweight. I do romanian deadlifts and climb some stairs for my legs but I know squats are the real deal.Any advice?

I would say squat. Best thing for my rebuilt knee.

Do your knees hurt at all when you climb stairs? if so stop. If you have knee trouble you pretty much need to squat.
Personally I wouldn’t jump into the progams they have to protect against knee pain on this site, becuase most of them are for protecting, and not building up from injury.

Knee pain will cause you to readjust your squat form if you don’t pay attention so first to make sure you keep the correct form, perform Overhead squats. Before doing regular squats.

However if you have knee pain when squating and it doesn’t get better the next day, then dont’ squat either. Your going to have to work all the way from the beginning. Which means light weight leg extensions and presses, or Wall squats going lower and lower until you can squat on your own.

My knees were so bad I had to start just stepping on to 1 inch platform progressing higher and higher.

Note my pain when walking and going up stairs didn’t go away until I could squat half my bodyweight.
My pain from jumping and running up and down concrete basketball courts didn’t go away until I was squating my body weight.

Oh yeah um…
Buy some Weights**

I have trouble with my left knee…

The physiotherapist said not to squat at all…

I just carried on and only occasionally do I actually get any pain from it now.

I do all my squats in the rack at the gym though, making sure that the safety bars are set right so if I do have to drop the bar it won’t do me or anyone else any damage.

I would say go for it. But with all recovery work, go light at first. Lighter than you think you could do on the worse day in the gym imagineable with one leg chopped off. A bit of dramatization but basically just take it really light at first. Then work up from there.

Thanks for the advice you guys. I squated mon and wed, slowly,carefully and PAINLESSLY. I will be getting more weights or going to a gym in the future, but for now the dumbell squats are working.I can barely climb the stairs at work today…but my knees are fine.

Another question for you all…what type/stance variation etc. will help build by ass…my legs seem to be responding but i need to build some glutes…and thanks again for the encouragement

Excellent news.

Dumbbell squats were great when I was rehabbing my knee.

I suggest the various deadlifts for working your backside.

[quote]Airtruth wrote:
Which means light weight leg extensions and presses, or Wall squats going lower and lower until you can squat on your own.

Horrible piece of advice.

There are much better rehab exercises than leg extensions for strengthening the quads. I believe there is a better one in Mike Robertson’s article called 18 tips to Bullet Proof Knees. Also read this article:


Leg presses are pretty much useless as a strengthening exericse (for size I believe I read a study where they are actually better than squats), and completely useless for rehab purposes.

Wall squats don’t even resemble a real squat. Your knees do not move forward at all and it puts more torque on them than a regular squat does.

I don’t remember reading what your knee pain is like yet everyone is giving advice. It is kind of scary you are listening to people who are giving advice from one piece of information and they say go for it.

From a rehab perspective, lunges and step-ups are far better than squats.