T Nation

Knees and Squatting

Excuse my question but -

Do your knees click when you squat?

I had never experienced this before, but over the past fortnight, my knees have started to click when i descend into squats. Just curious if it’s a common thing or if it’s worth checking out. I’ve got wrists, ankles etc that click from jumping around and doing silly things when I was a teenager

I know a lot of people with that, its not a problem was long as it is just a sound.

My joints make popping noises also- its nothing to be worried about unless it coincides with pain.

When I have my knee sleeves on it sounds like someone is breaking my legs.

Yeah, mine are really loud too, but no problems.

my knees click and hurt when i squat, does anyone have any advice? (ive taken two weeks off due to shoulder injuries and my knees being shot)

I used to have that problem, but since I have taken omega-3 supps, I haven’t had that problem.

The other big difference is that I have switched primarily to front squatting, whereas before, I exclusively did back squats.

Tonight while warming up, my knees started clicking AND hurting. This is kind of annoying since i had plans but i’m gonna take a few weeks not training legs, and go to the doctors tomorrow.

Does anyone have bite-sized tips for less knee-pain or danger? PS i have read ‘the KNEE PAIN thread’ by Mike Robertson, and didn’t find what i was looking for

Make sure your ankle and hip flexibility is good and keep the knees along the same path as the toes to avoid any shear stress.

[quote]dannyrat wrote:
Does anyone have bite-sized tips for less knee-pain or danger? PS i have read ‘the KNEE PAIN thread’ by Mike Robertson, and didn’t find what i was looking for[/quote]

Did you read his ‘Bulletproof Knees’ thread?

As he mentions, wearing knee sleeves (not to be confused with knee wraps) can make your knees feel a lot more comfortable. You’d be surprised what a difference it makes to have a little compression and extra warmth.

Knee clicking, popping, and creaking should not be a problem unless you are experienceing acute pain with any of them. Four things improved my squatting and knee health. The first two have been mentioned: Knee sleeves and flexibility. The other two are proper footwear and proper stance. For footwear, do not squat in cushioned shoes. Use something hardsoled, I use chuck taylors. I discovered that when wearing running shoes one of my Knees was colapsing, due to the “crushing” of the padding. I will also occasionaly squat barefoot. Oly shoes are another option. As far as stance goes, some people are more comfortable ultra wide while others really close. I prefer a slightly wider than shoulder width with my toes pointing out slightly, no more than 45 degrees. I do use other stances from time to time, but when I’m going for a max lift, it’s always the described stance.

Mine knees are pretty clicky, too.
Probably from all that jogging crap (man, if I found TNation fifteen years ago…)
Bodyweight squatting for countless reps also wasn’t the best thing to do.

I still can run and kick pretty good without pain.

All the above sounds like Great advice. I had the opposite with my Knees they would click and pop on everything except the squat. But for years out of fear I stayed away. Now I’m a happy squating fool. Just 2 add on’s to the above post.

  1. TK Bands OH man I have bounced 500 + with those they are no where close to being tight just snug and keep your knees warm.

  2. Better safe than sorry. Clicking keep going Popping keep going but when you get pain you might want to back off and if it keeps hurting get it checked.

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
Knee clicking, popping, and creaking should not be a problem unless you are experienceing acute pain with any of them. Four things improved my squatting and knee health. The first two have been mentioned: Knee sleeves and flexibility. The other two are proper footwear and proper stance. For footwear, do not squat in cushioned shoes. Use something hardsoled, I use chuck taylors. I discovered that when wearing running shoes one of my Knees was colapsing, due to the “crushing” of the padding. I will also occasionaly squat barefoot. Oly shoes are another option. As far as stance goes, some people are more comfortable ultra wide while others really close. I prefer a slightly wider than shoulder width with my toes pointing out slightly, no more than 45 degrees. I do use other stances from time to time, but when I’m going for a max lift, it’s always the described stance.[/quote]

I’d always been quad-dominant, and ‘learned’ the squat from magazines. My problem was caused by squatting narrow with my knees caving in being a problem when maxing out. Now, i’m gonna rest up til pain subsides, reset weight low-low and start to be a slightly-wider-than-shoulders squatter.

Good idea dannyrat, and really focus on forcing the knees OUT. One thing that helped me when I trashed my squat and started over was going to overhead squat. It really helped develop my hip and ankle flexibility. And hey, experiment with the ultra wide stance, I personally don’t do well with it, causes some strain and pain to the outside of my knees, but some of my partners do very well with it.

Read up on some powerlifting squat articles. I think Dave Tate has a couple here and there are TONS on his site at Elite.

Any insight or advice with this is much appreciated…

My knees also crack when I squat, but I’m not very concerned about that. What I am concerned about is sometimes after squatting, or doing any sort of running for cardio, I experience a clicking or popping right on the medial side of my knee. It’s not the knee, more like where the inner side of my leg comes into the side of the knee (potentially where the gracilis comes in - sorry I’m not well-versed in anatomy). It happens when I walk and doesn’t really hurt all that much, but it is uncomfortable and there’s definitely a clicking sensation.

I should mention that my knees do have a tendency to bow in under heavy weights for squats. I’ve been working on this, and it has improved a little.

You may need to see a PT or sports doctor, but if working on spreading your knees out help then continue. It’s very important to spread the knees out when squatting.

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
You may need to see a PT or sports doctor, but if working on spreading your knees out help then continue. It’s very important to spread the knees out when squatting.[/quote]

I had seen a PT last year who said I had weak hip abductors. I’ve been doing exercises to strengthen them for a while now, and that has helped a little. When I try to force my knees out when squatting, I feel a lot of pressure on the outside of the knee. I’ve been doing a lot of foam rolling for the IT band as a result. Hopefully that’ll help.

[quote]mrw173 wrote:
roofus_5 wrote:
You may need to see a PT or sports doctor, but if working on spreading your knees out help then continue. It’s very important to spread the knees out when squatting.

I had seen a PT last year who said I had weak hip abductors. I’ve been doing exercises to strengthen them for a while now, and that has helped a little. When I try to force my knees out when squatting, I feel a lot of pressure on the outside of the knee. I’ve been doing a lot of foam rolling for the IT band as a result. Hopefully that’ll help.[/quote]

That sounds about right. If they’re weak you need to either get on an abductor machine or get some bands and do X-walks and knee pull-aparts. A pair of “mini’s” will do the trick for now and you can get them for 15-25 bucks depending on where you look. I got some on ebay for 15.

[quote]roofus_5 wrote:
mrw173 wrote:
roofus_5 wrote:
You may need to see a PT or sports doctor, but if working on spreading your knees out help then continue. It’s very important to spread the knees out when squatting.

I had seen a PT last year who said I had weak hip abductors. I’ve been doing exercises to strengthen them for a while now, and that has helped a little. When I try to force my knees out when squatting, I feel a lot of pressure on the outside of the knee. I’ve been doing a lot of foam rolling for the IT band as a result. Hopefully that’ll help.

That sounds about right. If they’re weak you need to either get on an abductor machine or get some bands and do X-walks and knee pull-aparts. A pair of “mini’s” will do the trick for now and you can get them for 15-25 bucks depending on where you look. I got some on ebay for 15.

[/quote]

Thanks for the tip! I appreciate it.