T Nation

Oh God My Knees

So lately (last 3-4 months) my knees have been fighting back against squat day. That is to say that after I’m done squatting they hurt, a lot when trying to stand up. Then they continue to bother me for about 2 days. . . then it’s time to squat again.

You can check out what I do in my training log if you’re interested.

I’m sure part of it is just getting older (turned 40 this summer) but if anyone has advice I’d be happy to hear it. I’m going to pick up some knee sleeves to help keep my knees warm but any other advice is also welcome.


Two exercises that might help are Bulgarian split squats (you can do them with just bodyweight, hold something if you can’t keep your balance) and terminal knee extensions AKA TKE’s. Other than that, try using a foam roller, lacrosse ball, and/or massage cane to release the muscles in your quads and the front of your shins.

Another thing, you squat in wraps, right? Knee wraps increase the strain on the knee joint so maybe minimize (or eliminate) wrap use until you are peaking for a meet.

I’ve been doing some random TKE’s at home when I walk past the basement setup but you’re right they help and I should hit them more often. I meant to add the split squats this week but the CLBP makes my workouts so long I just run out of time, 2.5 hours to get through squats and 3 sets of deads is absurd and I just can’t justify more time at the gym for other stuff too. Most of that time is of course spent laying on the ground trying not to cry. . .

I don’t actually use the knee wraps, only for some competitions and then I usually only get into them about 3 weeks out. I’ve had trouble in the past with tendon issues from my gear if I’m in it too much so most of my stuff is done raw (with a belt). So I know the wraps aren’t hurting anything in this case. I haven’t put them on since my last comp in Sept.

Thanks for the advice.

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Hamstring curls until you can’t stand it. Laying, seated, standing. 1 leg or 2 legs. Against bands or with ankle weights.

Before squatting. After squatting. For sets of 100 reps on off days. Connect your brain to your hamstrings. Practice bending your knees.

Then, when you squat focus on bending your knees to hit depth. Concentrate on not letting your knees slide forward near the bottom to reach depth.

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I used to get terrible tendon pain just above my knee cap after squats.

It was a form issue. Weight too far forward (though it didn’t feel like it). Once I got a bit upright and got the balanced - it went away.

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Oh it only gets better…trust me lol

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You can do split squats as part of your warmup or when you have a free moment at home. Get some knee sleeves.

What’s CLBP?

After your warm, do a warm up. I do about 10 minutes. My first set is always with an empty bar to make sure I’m warmed up properly.

Also, I can only squat once a week…

Could also be a lower back or hip issue that is showing it’s symptoms at your knee. May be worth visiting a chiropractor or a sports masseuse.

I’ll start adding curls, I never do them as usually there’s not enough weight on the machines to make it worthwhile

I’ve actually had to learn to sit back less since I’ve been training raw… also when this issue started. Hmmmm…

Crippling lower back pump…

I’m adding split squats but you’re right, they might start as a warmup just with BW

Oh there’s a shit ton of warmup and it always starts with the bar for a few sets.

Bastard… lol

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Sit back is what I did when it all felt like crap because the weight was still forward and that resulted in all the force going through my knees.

Not saying sit back is bad but you need to learn to do it right.

Well i knowhow to sit back as I was a geared squatter until recently. It’s only in the last few months that I moved toward raw lifting since 90% of the competitions out here are raw.

Yeah, they’re stupid and boring. I think it’s more about keeping your knees healthy and hamstrings finely tuned than building great strength.

Slow eccentric work and isometric holds (for quadriceps) are bread and butter for patellar tendinitis and tendinosis. Although I don’t know what kind of pain you’re experiencing or what is the cause, maybe you could give it a go? I am rehabbing from (self-diagnosed) patellar tendinitis and have used slow eccentric squats, isometric knee extensions and some hammie curls for about two weeks now and have seen good improvement.

There’s a big chance yours is something else though, if it manifests mainly during the concentric part of the movement.

Here’s the fun part, squatting doesn’t hurt at all. The pain sets in about an hour after I’m done lifting, not during the workout st all.

There’s a bit of stiffness while inwarm up but that’s the point of the warmup and it goes away quickly.

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Same deal as me, I also was far more effected by intensity than volume.

Get someone to look at your raw form. You definitely don’t want to push this one (I still battle tendonitis in my elbow and I had a 5 year break lol)