T Nation

Knees Wobbling When Squatting


#1

I've notcied my knees wobbling at the bottom of a squat for the past few weeks. I've never had this problem before; I even tried using a lower weight and it keeps happening. It's starting to get me pissed-off as my knees have hurt pretty bad afterwards.

Anyway, I decided to leave-out squats this week, until I can find a solution. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Oh, and thinking about it; I've had really stiff ankles every time I get up in the morning for about the last six weeks- perhaps it could be related to that?


#2

Are you squatting lower than you used to do?


#3

Yeah, I think so. I've been doing front squats which have allowed me to go lower but the depth doesn't feel uncomfortable at all; infact it feels more comfortable than when I went higher with back squats.


#4

Find a PICP coach at www.charlespoliquin.com

They can help you with your problem. You probably need to get a good evaluation on your ankles, knees and lower body. It's probably isn't too serious that you need to worry greatly, but if you don't correct this problem, thwen the knees will continue to hurt and then other body parts can become injured. Also make sure you stretch your hips out and you might even check out an Active Release Therapist for the ankles if you ave any old injuries. They're great for getting rid of scar tissue from injuries and training.

For hip mobility and flexibility, search on here for articles from Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey... These coaches have some really cool info on injuiries, especially the knees and hips and ankles and it can also point you in the right direction. Good luck.

Lou


#5

Possibly. Take a week off from leg work and then re-evaluate.


#6

idk if this is at all right but you may want to just try stretching some because i find if i dont when i go low my knees will buckle in and that may be what your knees are trying to do and your resistance of that is causing them to shake.


#7

PX had a good recommendation as well on reassessing. However, how much wobbling are we roughly talking about? But stiff ankles is concerning, I haven't had this before so I couldn't help you on that note. You using different shoes now?

This much (might be way to much but in all seriousness)

I'm going to ask for a video for the best possible view. I'm a visual person, I'm sure many are.


#8

Thanks for the replies.

No, same shoes. I'm trying to think of anything that I could have changed in my routine but I'm struggling.

Lol, it's not that bad! Sorry, I have an old phone which doesn't record videos but I reckon whilst my knees aren't wobbling loads, it's still noticeable. I tried following some advice I read online, which said to push your knees out when they wobble but that just made them hurt more afterwards.


#9

Hey,

I had the same thing as you, no idea whether this will help or not but I saw a physio therapist who took some time to "observe" the way my mechanics work when I squat down.
Basically when I was getting lower the inside of my leg was weaker than the outside so I couldn't stabilise properly and wobbled.
I fixed it by doing a set of leg streches 2x per day to loosen up the muscles in the area and some cable pulls with the cable tied around my ankle.
I'd be happy to let you know which exercises, but It would take me a little while to explain here, so I won't bother unless you do :slight_smile:

Also, worth noting I think that around the same time I started doing Tabata with front squats, and this also seems to have had a massive impact on my squatting stabilisation from all angles.

Hope you get it sorted out mate!


#10

Agreed
You do not mention your general warm-up prior to your squat work. If ankle/knee/hip stiffness are an issue....try 8-10 minutes on the station bike (level 1 @ 75-80 PRM). Not looking for resistance...just turns!


#11

Thanks guys, I'll try doing Tabatas and see if that helps!

I've been warming up on a stationary bike for a few minutes; as I said before, my knees have been hurting me a bit. Then I do a few warm-up sets, getting progressively heavier.

I'll see what I can do but I think the ankle stiffness is too much of a coincidence to be unrelated.


#12

My guess (without doing an eval of you) would be tight/overactive adductors and weak glut meds.

work your glut meds


#13

Do they tend to wobble inward or outward? If inward than its probably a matter of imbalance - weakness of external rotators (Gemellis, piriformis, obturator, quadratus femoris) and muscles like the TFL and rectus femoris too tight. If you do an unweighted lunge, does the forward knee medially deviate? You can do the same thing by stepping up on a stool and seeing if the knee medially wobbles. These things will cause your hip to rotate internally and wobble.

Of course the opposite can happen - and the hip externally rotate.

I cannot verify this but I think one of those awful cheaters who use steroids can create weakness in the piriformis and gemelli (and less likely but still possible the obturator and quadratus femoris) by constantly injecting into the ass and damaging the tissue with scarring and inflammation and bleeding. This weakness in the external rotators can cause internal hip rotation and a wobble in deep knee bends.


#14

Oh and also tightness in the sartorius


#15

I should read through a thread before posting - this is of course similar to what I said. But the lunge test is a way to determine if the knee is wobbling medially (internal hip rotation) or not.


#16

I agree with the prof that you should take a week off and re-evaluate.

Although does this even happen with no weight at all? Have you changed your stance width? Do you warm-up properly? Have you tried the "prying" exercises recommended by Pavel and Dan John (they do wonders for my squat form)?

If indeed you are going lower then your body may not be prepared to support that position with the same weight you were using at shallower depths. I know you said you used lighter weights and still the same thing happened but did you go light enough? It doesn't take too much extra depth to make squatting a lot more difficult.

I used to have the butt wink at the bottom of deep squatting and I fixed it by doing perfect body weight squats and prying daily. I could feel the tight muscles that were causing the butt wink. Perhaps if you spend the week off doing daily body weight squats with impeccable form (really concentrate, perhaps look in a mirror) you will feel the imbalances that you have causing the wobbles. You may have tight muscles. You may have weak muscles but if you perform the squat the way that it should be performed, that alone should get you on the way to fixing the tightness or weakness.

Good luck!


#17

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#18

Wow, there's some really advice there- thanks!

Now that I think about it, my knees have definately been wobbling inwards. I've been warming-up properly and have doing 'prying' too; which I'll try it on a more regular basis, along with the bodyweight squats.

I totally agree with laying-off the leg work for a week, then re-assessing things. I'm a firm-believer in: "if an exercise hurts, don't do it".