T Nation

Knee trouble

Today was the first time in my 10 years of weight training that I began to do a squat routine and quit after the warm up. I used to regularly squat 315 for sets of 12. Now 225 feels like a bus sometimes, but my legs are as big as they ever were. I feel like its all because of my knees!! They don’t really hurt per se, but they feel weak - or brittle would be a good description to. My left knee has been a little tender to the touch right above the kneecap for several weeks(no injury was sustained from anything), and my knees have always been a little noisey, but no shooting pain ever. And i have never wrecked my knees in sports or anything else. My other joints feel fine, bench is up, deadlift is up, but my damn knees!!! Am i just getting old at 26? Or do i need rest? If anything they feel weaker after a week off. So if any of yall physical therapist or coach types have any info at all it would be appreciated.

Why don’t you try using less weight to warm up. What’s the rush? Considering that you already have a good pair of legs from squatting 10yrs ago, spending another month getting back into shape shouldn’t be that big of a problem. If you’re impatient, you might end up screwin’ up your joints permanently, which in turn will put you out of the gym for a very long time.

This is something I’ve been thinking about lately… From your suit measurements in another thread I take it you are a tall guy? Do you go below parrallel when you squat? maybe “ass to grass”? I wonder if taller guys have a higher danger of getting knee pain or damage from doing below parrallel squats or squats in general. Or maybe the depth insn’t an issue, but the form (though as always its probably a damned combination of both). As far as noisy knees I can relate, mine always crack a few times when I squat down to where my hams touch my calfs (not that I do squats this way, but if I was bending down to pick something up). Also I’m a tall guy, I’m no where near the squat weight you are at (currently I’m at 155 ass to grass for 12 reps at 205 6’3", its a bastard for me to add any weight to any of my excercises, oh well my form is good or maybe even excellent). Anyway recently I’ve been having some knee pain, not during the squats themselves by like a day or two after when I would bend down to pick somethin up. I’ve taken a week off of squatting and will re-evaluate my form. Any ideas? comments?

How do you warm up? Try 5-7 minutes of light cardio before hitting the iron. Also, try turning your feet slightly outward, if necessary, to match the direction your thighs make when you’re at the bottom position. This reduces the twisting in the knee joint.

Being taller makes squats more of a bee-atch, but I dont think it makes you more prone to injury assuming proper form is used. Im 6’5 and can relate to having to use relatively low poundages initially and I do an indepth PDF stretching program (15-20 minutes) prior to deads and squats. For me, the stretching has helped out a lot with knee trouble.

Yes i am tall 6’6". And i have always done squats ass to the grass as you say. To me it sometimes feels harder to only go to parrellel.

stretching and warm ups is where I am weak to nonexistant. But I do my squats and deads at the end of the workout (I like to save the best for last) so I am fairly well pumped and primed by then I imagine. Cardio makes me tired like a bastard (I do none of it) so I avoid it (I should start and balance it out a bit). Even 5-10 mins on a bike makes me tired, maybe I should tone down intensity… I’ll ponder this for a while. As for feet placement I do point them outward, although I’m not sure about the alignment to the thighs, thanks for the tip I’ll have to check that out. Ironmanski don’t get me started on the poundages… I started squatting about… maybe 8 months ago (doing 95 pounds with wobbly form, red and panting as a red panting monkey), I got up to 155 then had to take time off due to eye surgery. 4 weeks later I had to start at the begining with 95 pound squats again, damn was I pissed, but also humbled. Its been about 3 months since and I’m getting to good form and 155 again. Time to upp it some more soon.

Do your knees feel stiff after being bent a long time–like if you’re sitting on the ground or with your ankle on your knee? What about the knee giving out sometimes? That’s a sure sign of cartilage damage? It’s strange, my knees always feel better a few days after I squat, but sometimes when DOMS kicks in, they start to give out.

Is squatting ass-to-grass bad for tall guys? I started doing it, and my knees feel a lot more stable than when I squated to parallel. The article in the FAQ cites a study claiming that the bottome ROM on the squat actually rehabilitates knee function.