T Nation

Knees Crack w/ Front Squats


#1

My knees have been cracking lately when I go down all the way in a squat. They crack even just with my body weight.

My hips are not flexible but I have been stretching them out lately. Once my hips have a better range of motion will this end the cracking sound?

Am I safe to be doing dead lifts and hang clean jerks?


#2

if theirs no pain then dont worry about it, its just gas escaping from the joint, i have the same thing.

If it is hurting or starts to hurt then you may have an issue.


#3

Alright thanks man. You think I should keep doing 5 reps in a set or should I just do high rep? until my hips have better ROM.


#4

hard to say. What are you goals? strength, size, increased workload?


#5

strength mainly and gaining mass but that's not as important.


#6

how do you mean your hips aren't flexible when you squat all the way down? do you mean the movement is stiff or that the movement is prevented?

if it is stiffness and reps seem to get it smoother then reps might be the way to go. to warm-up at least. hopefully it will get smoother faster over time.


#7

I get a burn in my hips when I go down all the way and my knees crack. I was reading some other topics saying that my hips aren't flexible enough so it puts more pressure on my knees.

I'm not sure if its stiffness or prevented movement. Can someone squat down all the way just by bending their knees and not having much hip movement?


#8

Yeah it's possible, you gotta sit back and stick your ass out. Look up some Rippetoe squat videos. Or just use the leg press.


#9

that makes no sense. If you mean keeping the torso vertical, there might be a few but i'm sure most people can't. It also means throwing your knees out forward which people say puts more stress on them. Which is true in my experience but its not something that should always be avoided.


#10

i was just checking because sometimes people say 'all the way down' when they really mean 'as low as i can go' even though they can't break parallel.

'burning' is weird. maybe try the injury forum??


#11

cracking joints is fine.


#12

Just realized when I do front squats I lean too forward and that puts more pressure on my knees? My shins move forward and aren't as straight. Does this mean I just need more flexible hips?

Should the bar lined up with my heals? My hips feel tight when I do them like this but it seems like my knees don't crack as often. And definitely feels a lot heavier.


#13

i'd be worrying more about your burning hips than your cracking knees (so long as your knees aren't hurting).

if your weight is shifting forwards onto the balls of your feet then that could hurt your knees.
if your knees are caving in then that could hurt your knees.
if you are smacking your meaty thighs into your meaty calves in the hole that could hurt your knees.

do your knees actually hurt, though?

the bar should be over your center of gravity (midfoot)

a vid would help people see if something is off with your form.


#14

man its hard to say. my knee cap in my right leg just feels sore, doesn't really hurt.

i think i need to just work on keeping the weight centered and look up when squatting to keep my torso up. going to go light tomorrow just to make sure my form is best and keep stretching out the hips. hopefully everything works out so i can get more oly serious.


#15

I feel like my torso has to move forward for me to get the full squat.


#16

video.


#17


Do your hip flexors hurt?

I had some kneecap pain when I lost my lumbar curve, my weight shifted to the ball of my feet, and my torso shifted forwards in order to get proper depth.

Getting depth (in a relaxed squat) is one thing...
(Proper mobility for that took me months)
Maintaining tension in your muscles so you retain your lumbar curve and get a full stretch of your hip flexors is another thing...
(I'm still working on it)

There is a fairly recent T nation article by Ripptoe on maintaining lumbar curve. Maybe check about that? That you know how it feels to hold that lumbar arch tightly. A lot of people think they are maintaining their lumbar curve - but they aren't (because the hip flexors are too tight).

For quite a while I thought the problem was that my hip flexors needed to be stretched (lunge stretch, quad stretch etc). That only pissed it off and it got inflamed (burning type of pain).

What helped me the most was front loaded plate squats / goblet squats. Basically hold a plate or dumbell out in front of you (enough weight to help balance you) then try setting your lumbar arch as tight as you can and slowly pulling yourself down with your hip flexors (if that makes sense). You should be able to feel it when you hit your bottom position for now - and gentle bouncing should help push it lower. Gradually. Over time.

Hope this helps.


#18

My hip flexors don't hurt they just have that burn.

Thanks man, you think I should still be stretching out my hip flexors?

I'm going to start doing these front loaded plate squats today. What do you think about just doing the same thing with a barbell with no weights held in a front squat position? Or are you suppost to have the weight out in front of you with your arms extended?


#19

To use the goblet squat as a stretch I would go with a dumbbell/kettlebell or a plate as he said another component of the goblet squat that helps is being able to put your elbows on the inside of your knees in order to forcibly drive them out. Dan John made them popular here's his article http://www.T-Nation.com/free_online_article/most_recent/goblet_squats_101


#20

Thanks man