T Nation

Knees in Confusion

I am really confused now. Maybe I am reading this wrong, but in his book Starting Strength" Mark Rippetoe comments that your knees buckle in when you squat due to the fact that you have weak ADDUCTORS therefore your body buckles your knees in for greater contribution from the quads to make up for weak ADDUCTORS.

However, in my search on this site and some other places, everybody harps on weak ABDUCTORS and recommends not only strengthening the ABDUCTORS but STRETCHING THE ADDUCTORS. I am all for strengthening any muscle, but wouldn’t the idea of stretching the ADDCUTORS actually make the problem worse, at least according to what Rippetoe says?

I remember Charles Poloquin (sp?) being quite critical of a rec by Paul Chek which stated you should wrap a weight belt around the thighs of a lifter to correct this pattern. Charles stated something to the extent that this would actually train a negative learning pattern into the athlete. I find this strange in that I distinctly remember guys like Gray Cook, Juan Carlos Santana, and Mike Boyle all saying that you should wrap a band around the athletes thighs in order to strengthen up the glute medius.
who is right here?

there seems to be some really contradictory advice out there. Strengthening the ABDUCTORS AND STRETCHING THE ADDCUTORS seems to be a complete 180 from strengthening the ADDUCTORS.

Not trying to be an asshole… But I think you’re looking too deeply into things. What weight do you squat?? If it’s 2x bodyweight or there abouts then I think you’re worrying to much about weaknesses and not on just on getting damn strong. I’m by no means a strength monster but think I could hold my own against most.

Stop sweating the small details. If you’re knees are drifting in there’s 2 or maybe 3 things I would do to fix it.

  1. KNEES OUT!! Remember this. Do it. Tell yourself to do it as you go down. Have someone scream it at you. Get it tatooed on your forehead. If that fixes things then it’s just technique, not a weakness.

  2. Bring your stance in. If you’re knees are drfting in and you’re squatting wide then they’re trying to find the point where they’re strongest. So get your stance in and go progerrsively wider as you improve.

  3. I’ve never tried this but Louie recommends it and I don’t think anyone (even the esteemed Charles P) can argue with Louie when it comes to strength. Wrap a band arounr your legs just above your knees and do low box squats while forcing your knees out.

I don’t really care all that much what is written in books if the results aren’t there to back it up. And remember there’s multiple ways to achieve the one goal.

Knees twisting internally is a biproduct of weak Abductors. It’s a sign of Quad-dominance as well.

Sitting on a box and wrapping a mini-band around your knee and doing abduction for reps will help you learn how to fire your Glutes. I’ve found that sometimes, lifters aren’t necessarily Glute-weak but rathers can’t fire their Glutes while squatting. Doing this little abduction reps can help this prior to squatting.