T Nation

Squats and Knees...

We all knwo that their is a very large faction of people who believe full, proper squats (a2g) will kill your knees. Obviously, this didn’t just spring up, and must have some sort of example basis.

I’m curious though. What kinda of form screw-up would cause squats (ATG ones) to hurt ones knees? Foot position? Bacl curving? Plain old too much freakin’ weight?

Or is it all crock-and-bull? I always assumed it was a form thing (IE: you squat correctly, your knees won’t die).

Oh oh, a chicken and egg question.

Hard to say. However, I think letting your legs “cave in” is supposed to be bad for the knees.

I’d like to think use (with good form) is good for joints, connective tissues and muscles…

Every time I’ve tried doing ATG squats, my knees have gone to hell once I’ve crested over 200 lbs. Even if I take a few weeks before hand to work my way up to it, they start screwing up at that point. Not just little achey moments, but so stiff and sore that I have trouble walking for the next three days kind of sore.

When I’ve used a wide stance and gone to parallel, though, I’ve had no problems. Saw great strength gains, good knee health, and enjoyed my sessions.

That said, I’m a stubborn bastard. I’m giving the ATG squats another chance, taking it ultra slow this time and dissecting my form to the last minute detail to see if I can’t get around this.

[quote]
I’m curious though. What kinda of form screw-up would cause squats (ATG ones) to hurt ones knees?[/quote]

“Bouncing” too hard at the bottom of the movement? I do fine if I have a slight pause at the bottom of a squat, but if I try to exploit the stretch reflex, my knees don’t like it. YMMV.