T Nation

Patellar Tendon Stress

A friend of mine and I were discussing squats the other day. He was saying that going down to parallel is bad for the patella tendon. And I was saying that as long you’re doing a PL squat (i.e. sitting back, tibia stays as vertical as possible) the stress on your patella is the same the whole time throughout the squat - at the top and at parallel - as long as you keep your lower leg as vertical as possible.

I’m pretty positive I’m right but I was just wondering if somebody could help me out in finding the references proving this. Thanks.

(and if I’m wrong, please enlighten me)

Sorry nobody replied to you, bro…
I was hoping for some clarity on this, since a lot of colleagues blamed my ruptured patellar tendon on my lifting.

Maybe my reply will put it back on the front page and get a response…

I am sure you are going to get people coming from all different directions on this. Squatting wide will take more stress off the knee and you will go parallel or slightly below, because you won’t be able to go all the way to the ground and keep your knees pushed out. Wide does not mean shoulder width stance!

Squatting narrow will allow you to go to the ground but will not allow you to arch as well, therefore not allowing you to sit back as far. Stopping at parallel with a closer stance is much harder on the knees because the stress that was put on the hips and glutes in the wide stance is more on the knees. The point is they are the same exercise but work differently, so work in all ranges.

So, wide stance go parallel or just below if you can, close stance go to ground. That is my opinion. I hope it makes sense.

If you look at Oly lifters, when they do a clean and jerk or snatch, their ass is pretty close to the ground plus they use some pretty big weights, too.

In other words, their knees are stressing. Is it bad? All depends on the person. Whenever you lift, you are stressing your joints. When you get close to your max bench, I bet you are putting some pretty good stress on your wrists (if you don’t use wrist wraps)