my knees are going inwards on squats/deads/oly lifts about half way in the lift, seems to be some weakness in my chain? How can i go about reparing this
You are probably using too narrow a stance. The wider the better for squats. Deads are a little different whether you use Sumo or conventional style. I only do cleans as far as olympic lifts go but my stance is still slightly wider that shoulder width. If your stance is not the problem try wrapping a mini band doubled around your knees when squatting. This will force you to push your knees out. I do it on occasion just to keep proper form.
I have it too but, it only comes along with fatigue.
Did a bit metaresearch on the subject some time ago and found a lot of different opinions. Most were about strengthening this and stretching that.
This is a quote from some article. Unfortunately I've lost the credidentials. Sounds a bit DB'ish, though:
Bring the squat stance in! If you get wider than the functional flexibility limits of the hip adductors then your knees will always collapse.
Strengthen the hip extensors! Do you have access to a "reverse hyper"(RBR device? If so, brush off the dust and put it to work.
Plus exercises to do:
- Miometric Squats
- Oscillatory-Isometric Hip Flexion Squats
- Isometric Squats
I was going to suggest doing more abductor work since he is having problems keeping his knees out. He should get on a low box and double wrap a band around his thighs and abduct them. Doing that should at least help with with the problem.
I agree w/ msg, wrap around the knees or use heavy duty thera bands and squat on the low box forcing the knees to ABduct or maintain proper alignment while you squat. This will force you to push out against the band/wraps strengthening the abductor complex.
Try and spread the floor with your feet as you are going up
On squats, remember to push out on your knees on the way down as well as on the way up.
If you're doing sumo deads, treat it like a squat with reference to what I just mentioned.
If you're pulling conventional, I would actually suggest bringing your stance in some. My legs are straight up and down in a conventional dead, so there is no worry of my knees caving in.
Get the Westside Seminar tapes for your answer. Tate recommends wrapping a flex band around your legs and pulling them apart.
What kind of shoes are you lifting in? I was lifting in my basketball shoes switched to my work boots until I save for some squat specific shoes. The switch made a ton of difference for me, with a solid sole shoe can make a ton of difference.
Having your knees go inward during the squat could be a sign on a weak glute medius. Try wrapping a mini band or similar elastic resistance band around your legs and walk lateraly, initiating with abduction. You could also lie on your side in a hook position (Hips stacked, knees flexd to 45 degrees, feet stacked on top of each other, the heels should be in line with the spine). Start the movement by abducting the top leg, making sure there is no spinal/pelvic rotation. Keep the feet in contact with each other. Also, follow the instructions given in earlier posts about pushing your knees out as you squat.
I would just say stop doing that. Youre aware of it, so....
If you can't get hold of bands then do isometric holds on one of those housewife special thigh abductor machines, you know the one where you'd like to see the hottie spreading her legs apart to 'tone' her outer thigh but only ever see the overweight cellulite laden chubby trying to spot reduce her 28" thighs.
Take care, if you notice pain in your outer knee you could be straining your anterior cruciate ligament. You don't want to rupture that!
to help with spreading the floor push out with the sides of your feet. Use a pair of Converse Chuck Taylors or a pair of wrestling shoes which will allow you to spread the floor better without rolling your ankle. Most all of the Westside guys all train or compete in chuck taylors
If you train with someone have them give you commands when this happens. Just have them yell Knees out! whenever yoy do this. If you dont train with someone you will just have to be aware of it and fix it. You could also wrap a jump stretch band around your knees to make you spread them. If you are not doing pull thrus, good mornings RDLs, stiff legged DLs, and alot of other chain exercises then start.
edd91, it can be as simple as angling your feet out or angling them out more.
The gluteus medius and minimus are probably weak and inhibited, but, believe it or not, your main problem is probably a weak and inhibited gluteus maximus. It can be inhibited due to tight hip flexors, mainly the tensor facia latae. I'd recommend stretching out the hip flexors and also doing some activation work for the glute max. Supine bridges supposedly work well for this. Lie on the floor and bring your hips up high while keeping your shoulders on the floor. Do lots of these on off days and workout days. The band around the knees is also a good suggestion.
Agree with the last couple of posts. take a widish stance and point your toes out up to about 30 degrees. This will help you squat deeper and keep the knee tracking over the toe. It could just be a simple case of being aware of it during the squat and telling yourself not to let your knees fall in (might need to use a slightly lighter weight while concentrating on form). If I was going to get somoeone to do something like a prone bridge, then I would recommend them to do it on a swiss ball. Then that exercise can be progressed to intergrate the low back, glutes and hammies by knee flexion (bringing the ball closer to your feet) while keeping the pelvis up. When I show people the exercise and tell them to keep the pelvis up, it nearly always drops until I grab their pelvis and lift it up. You should be able to see your groin thoughout the movement. You can make either of these exercises harder by your arm position. Start with your arms out to the side for best balance. Then as you get better you can bring your arms into the side of your body and then the last progression (as far as arm position is concerned) is to have them across your chest. You would not believe how much harder that that makes the exercise.
Could be a weak VMO.
It is interesting reading the replys here. Since we are involved in High School powerlifting, we see this in rooks with relative frequency when the weight exceeds 90%. I have had alot of conversations with higher level lifters about what may be causing this.
I am gong to take a different approach and state that I think you need to strengthen your hammies, particularly where they insert with the glute. The reason being that based on what you are describing, I think your knees are coming in b/c your body wants to transfer weight to your quads when it strains. This transfer is, although ineffectively, accomplished by pulling the knees in. Weight is transferred primarily to the vastus. It could also indicate a weakness in the medial head of the quadriceps, prompting your body to attempt to further activate the vastus.
The statement of force your knees out and train with bands around your knees, while correct and good advice for an intermediate or advanced lifter, is really assuming a higher level of experience under the bar than I think we have in this case.
I think it is due largely to strength deficiency in, most likely the hammies, and less likely in the medial head of the quad.
Taking a wide stance does nothing to fix the problem. To be successful at squatting heavy, you need to work both wide and narrow, so you need to fix these issues so that they won't prevent you from developing good all around ability. try the band around the knees and do this for a few weeks.