T Nation

My Damn Knees

All,

My knees are really taking a beating from the heavy squatting that I have been doing lately. Since not squatting heavy is not an option, what sorts of prehab, rehab, assistance stuff should I be doing to keep my knees healthy enough to squat. I know technique is an issue, and I am working on that too, but I was just wondering if I am missing anything else. Any help would be appreciated.

Rehband/neoprene knee sleeves
Glucosamine
Fish oil
Full range squatting (at LEAST powerlifting legal depth, preferably lower)

[quote]ChaseT wrote:
Rehband/neoprene knee sleeves
Yup-though I’d like to be able to squat heavy without them

Glucosamine
Yup

Fish oil
Yup-Flameout!

Full range squatting (at LEAST powerlifting legal depth, preferably lower)[/quote]

This seems to be where my problem is. The descent is no problem, the ascent is no problem, but that moment when I transition from decent to ascent my knees start to hurt and sound like rice krispies. I thought more box squatting might allow me to squat heavy and prevent strain at that transition point. Thoughts?

What is your warm up like? Try spending a few minutes on the stationary bike and a few on the treadmill, just to get the blood flowing. I also do some easy lunges in place. Make sure you are always driving through your heels when squatting.

How often do you squat heavy ?
How wide is your stance ?
How deep do you squat ?
What kind of program do you use ?
What is your accessory work ?
How is your hip mobility ?

[quote]PHGN wrote:
How often do you squat heavy ?

About every other week.

How wide is your stance ?

I’m starting to bring it out wider, but when all this started it was a little wider than shoulder width.

How deep do you squat ?

To parallel free, just above parallel on a box

What kind of program do you use ?

Westside, though instead of a DE day I do Strongman events

What is your accessory work ?

One low back (ex:GM’s), one hamstring (ex:pullthroughs), weighted abs

How is your hip mobility ?[/quote]

Good for the most part, I guess

hip and ankle mobility work
reduce volume and intensity

sorted

Foam roll you IT band.

Just about guaranteed it is because of the way you squat.

Check out the Dan John fitcast.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6529481301858251744&q=dan+john

Squat the way he demonstrates, your knees will be golden.

For me if I do too much narrow squatting my knees start to hurt.

Try either narrow squatting only 1x per week instead of 2x per week or maybe switch to wide squats (if you arent already).

Also leg presses make my knees feel messed up too.

[quote]
I thought more box squatting might allow me to squat heavy and prevent strain at that transition point. Thoughts?[/quote]

Exactly what I was going to suggest. My knees have been a problem since I was in grade school and have gotten particularly bad over the last couple years. Box squatting has been a savior and they allow me to continue to squat without having to take every third week off because of knee pain.

It all depends on the height of the box. If you put the box at a height at which you are squatting to parallel you are going to be spending more time and have to generate more force at the joint angle with the most torque. If your knee’s are bad and your form is good, box squatting almost certainly will not help because It is a MORE stressfull movement, not less, due to the cold start. If box squatting did help it would be because you also sat back more and involved your posterior chain, and basically just did a proper squat. There is nothing about a box squat that makes it inherently better on knees than regular squatting. Another thing about ATG or deep squats in general is that the stretch reflex of the glutes and hamstrings is what propels the body upward. If there is too much demand on your quadriceps during that deep ROM you are in trouble because the quads are not meant to be the go to muscle getting your ass up out of the hole. Exercises that involve the quads doing the majority of the work are done very light (Sissy Squats). And Im not saying you are doing a sissy squat (obviously) but your heading in that direction (slightly) in regard to your quad involvement deep.

[quote]ultimatethor wrote:
ChaseT wrote:
Rehband/neoprene knee sleeves
Yup-though I’d like to be able to squat heavy without them

Glucosamine
Yup

Fish oil
Yup-Flameout!

Full range squatting (at LEAST powerlifting legal depth, preferably lower)

This seems to be where my problem is. The descent is no problem, the ascent is no problem, but that moment when I transition from decent to ascent my knees start to hurt and sound like rice krispies. I thought more box squatting might allow me to squat heavy and prevent strain at that transition point. Thoughts?[/quote]

Im the exact opposite, below 50% squats feel bad on my knees. Soon as I go up to around 80%, smooth as buter.