T Nation

Knees Buckle-in on Squats and Squat Jumps


Hey All I couldn't find this question in the "Search" function on this site...
But on heavy squats and especially on squat jumps both my knees tend to buckle-in no matter how hard I try to drive them outward... I was wondering if anyone knew what muscles would be weak and which muscles would be tight to cause this. I appreciate any input thank you...


Sounds like weak glutes. More specifically medial glutes.


What he said, and tight adductors as well.


What angle are your feet at and how wide do you stand? If you stand wide and keep your feet straight ahead the knees will go in regardless of how loose or not your muscles are. Keep your feet angled out at about 45 deg if you squat wider than shoulder width, less of an angle if you go shoulder width or narrower. Does this make sense?

Oh, and you may be pushing with just your quads. Learn to do sort of a leg curl and flex your glutes coming out of the hole. Your legs will naturally push so think "posterior chain" and move some weight! Good luck man...


It may not be as simple as "tight" muscles and "weak" muscles. In most people, those muscle are not anatomically tight or weak, but physiologically so. It is more likely to be a muscle firing pattern or instability issue. All of this with the caveat that you are not an adolescent or a teeny tiny girly man.


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Could try the band around knees trick?


Thanks for input from everyone...

StrengthDog, My stance is slightly wider than shoulder width and my feet are turned out but not to 45 degrees... So I'll give that a try

Also I believe that my glutes are not too weak, I actually thought that my quads were the weak link... As I feel I can pretty effectively contract my glutes.

I will definitely give the band around the Knees trick

Thanks again


BBB Thanks for the exercise prescription I will definitely give those a try


I am about to leave for a concert, or I would likely give you hell for acting all macho about something you apparently don't know much about. I will be back to explain what I said later.


Pretty sure BBB has a degree and a successful practice in the subject matter. What're your credentials?



Sounds like it could be a weaker Vastus Medialis, or teardrop muscle in your quad.
Check problem 1 and the solution for it.


I am guessing he is saying basically what BBB recommended. If the muscle is "physiologically" tight but not "anatomically" tight he is implying that his active range of motion is limited and not necessarily his passive range of motion. So the idea is the OP needs to improve his motor recruitment and resolve instability issues in order to get his active range of motion to the length as his passive range of motion. I am not quite sure the difference between an anatomically weak muscle or a physiologically weak like BBB said, however.

These are just my guesses.


My post was more in response to the post directly above mine, where he said BBB was acting macho and didn't know what he was talking about.


Sorry guys, I really don't want to clutter up someone elses thread too much, I'll keep it short...

@Blaze: I received my undergrad in Kinesiolgy specializing in Biomechanics and am currently entering intern clinic as a chiropractor specializing in sports. I am also a Corrective Exercise Specialist and Performance Enhancement Specialist through the NASM. I honestly dont think a lot of those credentials matter, though, since any numb-nuts can get through schooling...but those are my "credentials".

And I came across harsh...didn't mean to, my apologies. I just hate it when someone calls what I say "bullshit" without having a sweat clue what I was even getting at. Just because it baffles doesn't mean it is BS.

@ajweins: Yeah, what you are saying is close to what I was getting at for sure. I am not sure why someone else couldn't just suggest that instead of accusing me of baffling cause I can. It is not only about active versus passive ROM, but you are a lot closer.

The reason I was suggesting that my fellow poster above didn't know what he was talking about, even though I was lashing out of temperament, was because telling someone that training only two muscles in only 2 parts of the ROM will fix a movement problem just doesn't work a lot of the time with athletes with a good strength base.

It is like saying you are going to fix someone's pullup by training them in a full hang position and a fully flexed position only. You and I both know it wont work, because they have to correct the motor pattern from start to finish, not just at the top and bottom, where different muscles are easier to isolate.

Anywhom, sorry for starting trash in here. Obviously a whole lot more could be said on the topic, I just hate being pigeon-holed. As for the OP, I think that


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Just what I was going to say


No prickiness taken :slight_smile:

I agree completely with everything you just said. It could be debated that fibrous infiltration is an "anatomically tight" muscle by the qualification that it has changed it's anatomy...but I get the feeling we will start a semantics yabber if we start trying to distinguish specific examples of all the terms we used above. If you're really interested, PM me and I'll give you a bit more of what I know (or think I know, since all we ever "know" is how to apply a good theory).

On the other hand, I am curious: have you read of or do you implement any fascial slings and fascial planes type of treatment? I know you are in the UK, so I didn't know if that fad ever made it your direction. People are all googley-eyed over Thomas Myers here.


What exercises do you guys recommend for medial glutes?

I've had issues with my knees collapsing inwards and my PT recommended strengthening them by doing one legged bw squats.

I think split squats and lunges hit them too, but I'm looking for something else that hits them else. Any recs will be muchly appreciated! :slightly_smiling:

Thanks in advance.


Squat jumps are the worst exercise I've ever seen. Stop doing them.