T Nation

Left Knee Pain After Squats

It isn’t uncommon for me, especially from fiddling around with minor changes in form (particularly stance) to have knee pain. It is ALWAYS (95% of the time) in my left knee, and more so on the right side of it. One thing I have noticed is when sitting down, my left foot points out more than my right. When I am sitting in a natural position.

When I set up my stance for my squat purely for how it feels, it feels the best with my left foot pointed out slightly more than my right. When I correct it and make both sides even, I feel a lot of extra force on my left knee / hip. During my last two sets of squats today my left knee felt extremely unstable, like it was about to completely fall apart mid-set.

The pain is only a 1.5/10 barely noticeable. But its that type of annoying pain where you cant exactly pin point the location, and comes and goes. Randomly getting better, randomly getting worse.

I know its possible to have one limb longer than the other. Don’t think that’s the case but its not impossible. It could also be some sort of muscular tightness but how can I find out? Should I keep ‘forcing’ myself to squat evenly despite the pain or should I squat in the position which feels most comfortable?

As a guy who is genetically prone to have knee problems (my dad and grandfather both needed knee replacements, I am 24 so nothing has happened yet), I have to say the squat is the one exercise where I have never had knee pain.

Here are somethings that I think will help in order of most effective:

  1. Find a stance that works for you. Take a notebook when you workout and record how your knees feel. If they feel funny after a set, try something different on the next set, then record how it feels.

2)Again, keep your center of gravity on your heals and keep your chest up. Do this by looking forward throughout the lift.

  1. In addition to the above, I personally do the low bar box squat. For my particular form I feel it most hamstrings and glutes in the lower half of the lift.

  2. Depending on your strength level you may need to add unilateral work (single leg work). After squats do some step ups. I don’t recommend lunges because their form is harder to perfect (for me anyway).

  3. I personally use crappy shoes, but I have noticed a small improvement when wearing just socks