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Squatting and Knee Pain (Hip Mobility Issue?)


So I've been squatting regularly for a couple months following Rippetoe's Starting Strength program. I have read the book and tried to follow the form as he outlines it to the letter. However, as I descend in the squat my torso seems to lean forward "too much" and just before parallel my low back rounds no matter how much I try to keep it neutral or arched. Now I am having intermittent knee pain during the day.

I am guessing that I am having trouble because of tight hip flexors or hamstrings? I'm kind of at a loss as to what to do. I want to keep squatting but don't want to destroy my knees in the process. Someone suggested using squat-to-stands but I can't get into the bottom position without losing the arch in my back. Any advice is incredibly appreciated.


As you probably guessed, you need to work on hip mobility. Do a search for articles by Eric Cressey. I would also add glutes to the things you may need to do some work on.


Thanks for the reply. I actually have just purchased Eric's magnificent mobility, I'm hoping that will help with ideas for exercises but not sure exactly which ones to concentrate on.


A video of you squatting would help us help you.

Have you experimented with stance width, toe angle, bar placement (all within reason)?

Maybe you're better suited for front squats.

Increasing your mobility is a good idea.


Assess & Correct has a progression, first "kneeling rockbacks" before "squat to stand" that is very helpful for this.

Edit: There's a video in Gentilcore's article, p2, about the 6th video down:


A video is a great idea. I too felt that I was leaning to far forward in my squats so I took a video to check how bad it was, it turned out I had almost none(well, there was a small bit on my very heavy squats but nothing to cry and worry about yet). Just something to consider, it might not be as bad as you think but a video would be a great help


Thanks for all the advice. Quick question: I've been working on the Squat-to-Stands but it seems like given my height it's almost impossible to get my upper lumbar/thoracic spine neutral during the exercise. Should I just keep working it until I can or only go part way down?