Sitting Down Leading to Small, Weak Glutes & Painful Knees?

Begin ramble.

I’ve been dealing with knee pain in both knees since I was about 16-18 (can’t remember exactly), around the time in my life when I started sitting down way more often, and for much longer duration.

In school (up to the age of 16), I exercised all the time, playing sports nearly everyday - rugby, football (soccer), sprinting - you name it, I did it. At weekends I would skateboard and generally spend more time outside, on my feet. Girls also liked my butt a lot more.

After I left school and started college, I stopped nearly all forms of activity, apart from weight lifting, and was sitting down a lot more, both at college, and when I was at home. Pretty soon, I had a lot of aches and pains, particularly in my knees. Specific activities that caused pain included - walking up/down stairs, sitting into and getting out of a chair, sitting with my legs bent for long periods (i.e. in a car/cinema), and squatting. Whenever I did any sprinting, my hips would shift from side to side, and my balance was not great.

I weighed 99-102 kg at about 5’9 to 5’10 (217-224 lbs) when I was 19-20 years old (when at university). For comparison, I weighed about 74-76 kg in my last year of school (when I felt bulletproof).

Fast forward to now (I’m 25), and many of these problems still affect me, but thankfully, to a slightly lesser degree. I mostly get pain doing high rep squats, and feel like I have no power out of the hole. If I stay out of the gym, my knees are generally pain-free. However, any form of regular intense activity starts to make them ache, particularly my right knee. They also pop if I put pressure on my kneecap and extend my leg.

Back in February, a physio told me that my glute medius were weak. He had me lie on my side and abduct my leg, then he pushed my leg down from the ankle, with minimal effort. Both legs provided little resistance.

I followed his exercise and stretching regimen, but it did nothing for my knees or flexibility (which he said was also an issue). I have never been flexible, but this was never a problem when I was exercising in school.

Now I can feel my sitting bones, and even my mother says my ass is disappearing.

Is it likely that this is all related? Either way, I’m going to start strengthening my glutes, particularly my glute medius, everyday, and also try and do some sprinting.

I do hate sitting down all the time.

End ramble.

Yes. It is hip and glute weakness. I, too, suffer the same glute weakness. I can DL over 500, squat over 400 and SLDL 315 for reps, but still suffer glute activation problems.

Your Tensor Facia Latae (TFL) and glutes attatch to your IT Band. Your glutes (mostly glute medius) are weak and fail to activate. Your body tightens the IT Band in an attempt to stabilize the knee.

For me, weak hips and glutes caused extreme TFL pain while squatting, sitting, sleeping, everything. Doing specific bodyweight glute and hip rehab has helped the pain a lot.

Search for a great glute rehab article on this site and begin with rehab work. Also do some glute and hip activation movements before squatting or deadlifting.