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Knees Caving In

When i squat, my knees cave in. I’m looking to see if anyone can give me some ideas on how to remedy this.

My quads have always been stronger than my hamstrings, and so i also lean forwards a bit. To remedy this i’ve read cressey/robertson’s article here, and i’m strengthening my abs and lower back and hamstrings. Also i stretch hip flexors daily and after workouts (4x a week).

I’m going to start goblet squatting soon since i think that will help me.

To repair my leg imbalance, i omitted squats from my program for two months in a kind of experiment, and did a form of deadlift or clean 3X a week, quite intensely. This has improved my hams strength and size a bit, but not cured me of my technique problem. Any ideas? Cheers

try gettin some bands and wrapping them around your legs just below the knees. load up the bar with some weight (obviously nothing close to a max) and squat. the bands will try to pull your knees in and you will have to conciously spread your legs.

this will teach you to keep the knees out. eventually it should become second nature to you. i read about this on elitefts and how it worked for one of their elite level guys who had this problem.

good luck

That’s an awesome idea man, thanks for that. I’ve actually got a band sitting right here from rotator cuff stuff. I’ll start out squatting again with a lighter weight but keeping the band apart. Cheers again

You likely need to strengthen your vastus medialis and glutes.

When do you start pushing your knees out? You should be pushing them out on the way down as well as the way up.

It could also be weak hamstrings ( http://billhartman.blogspot.com/2006/11/squat-diagnosis.html )

TPA- how do you train vastus medialis?

I guess i should just do the band thing, and i’ll have to push out all the time to keep the band taut.

If i understood bill hartman, he’s just saying it’s the fault of weak/er hamstrings right?

I’m pretty sure your vastus medialis gets hit good when you go ass to grass on your squats. I don’t really know how else to train it though, but that’s just what I’ve read here.

[quote]dannyrat wrote:
When i squat, my knees cave in. I’m looking to see if anyone can give me some ideas on how to remedy this.

My quads have always been stronger than my hamstrings, and so i also lean forwards a bit. To remedy this i’ve read cressey/robertson’s article here, and i’m strengthening my abs and lower back and hamstrings. Also i stretch hip flexors daily and after workouts (4x a week).

I’m going to start goblet squatting soon since i think that will help me.

To repair my leg imbalance, i omitted squats from my program for two months in a kind of experiment, and did a form of deadlift or clean 3X a week, quite intensely. This has improved my hams strength and size a bit, but not cured me of my technique problem. Any ideas? Cheers[/quote]

Some ideas…

A teaching cue I picked up somewhere, Dave Tate I believe, was to visualize yourself “spreading the floor” with your feet as you come up. In other words focus on trying to tear the floor in half with your feet as you ascend.

The band is a great idea as well. I also know Grey Cook used a foam roller in between the knees. Its been a while since I watched it but I believe that it was supposed to force you into your mistake and thus correct it. I do remember the feet were to be as far apart as the roller was wide. If I get a chance I’ll re-watch that, PM me if your interested in more detail.

Hope this helps some.

[quote]dannyrat wrote:
TPA- how do you train vastus medialis?
[/quote]

  1. One-and-one-fourth front squats
  2. Lunges with short distance steps
  3. Peterson step ups
  4. Leg extensions with toes pointed out
  5. Frog stance hack squats
  6. Backwards sled dragging

Read this
http://www.T-Nation.com/findArticle.do?article=04-017-training

and this

http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794

It sounds like you’re on the right track to solving the problem. I don’t talk about the knees bowing inward too much in these videos, but I do mention it here and there and all of the symptoms addressed can be caused by similar weaknesses:

Squat Rx #1: Lower Back Rounding at the Bottom of the Squat

Squat Rx #2: GMing Out of the Hole

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part I)

Squat Rx #3: Engaging the Glutes and Hamstrings (Part II)

I’ll second the band idea.

With me, my knees cave in during squats when my glutes aren’t firing properly. The band around the outside of my knees does an excellent job of warming up my glutes so I can squat properly.

You can use the same principle while lunging too. Loop the band around a fixed vertical bar, and place your outside foot inside the two closed ends of the band. This pulls your knee in, and now you can do lunges with the band helping to activate your glutes.

Obviously, I wouldn’t try this with heavier weights, either squatting or lunging. But it works great with lighter weights.

Just want to say thanks to you guys for the excellent feedback. I’ve got to do shit today but i’ll check all the resources and try to implement the band idea, as well as bridging in the warmup, and any stuff i haven’t seen yet. Cheers

Something as simple as practicing your form with little or no weight may help. My daughter had this problem with her knees bowing in while squatting.

I had her practice with a broomstick. I told her to go down and make her feet disappear under her knees. If her feet were visible outside her knees I moved them back in line and had her continue down to parallel while I held them in line. After a couple 10 or 15 minute sessions like this she learned and no longer has this problem.

If it’s an actual strength issue then this obviously won’t do you any good.

Thanks trib. In the interest of the thread i’ll say that this article was very helpful –http://www.T-Nation.com/readTopic.do?id=1198794

As far as i can see from trying to look at myself from the outside (or with a mirror lol) i have always had very weak/flat vastus medialis, as well as hamstrings, but very strong (i guess to compensate) vastus lateralis(the outer quad). So when i’m squatting i always caved when i got deep, with a weight that was light at the top.

I guess i’ll have to be patient and implement the bands and develop my Vastus medialis a bit more, too. See you in like a year for amazing leg shots!