Knee pain during squat, form to blame?

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    Knee pain during squat, form to blame?


    About a year ago I had knee surgery, not very major. I was having bad pain in my right knee and basically they found some tissue that wasn't supposed to be there and theorized that it was catching on something to cause the pain. They went in with a scope and cut it out. Fast forward a year and my knee is in worse shape than it's ever been. I really feel like they made my knee MUCH worse. I actually love squatting but the past month I've all but given up because it just hurts too much. I'm wondering if my form is to blame and if I can fix it and maybe be able to squat the way I want. I've recently given my form an overhaul and while it helped some it by no means solved the problem.

    -MY FORM-

    I typically set up with my feet slightly wider than my shoulders with toes pointed approx. 15 degrees outside. I look about 30-45 degrees above neutral. I try to keep my scapula contracted together. A slight arch in my lower back. I suppose I could describe the squatting motion as focusing on my pelvis sliding back while lowering my body to slightly below parallel.I focus very hard on squatting back and not letting my knees over my toes and trying to keep my knees pressed to the outside and not turn in. I tend to keep most of my weight on the outside of my feet. I realize it may be hard to give good advice based on the limited info here but any help on my form or any suggestion would be great.

    Ps. I experience the same knee pain when doing the reclined leg press which leads me to think it's not entirely due to form on the squat.

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    A video says a thousand words. Your description sounds good, although I would suggest keeping your head level, not up.
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    2 cents...
    I think it is possible to set up text book and still perhaps get pain, depending on your makeup and perhaps just how some people are different. And let me tell you I feel your pain so to speak (no pun intended)
    I cannot tell you what will or will not work. If you are bent on not giving up, then I applaud your courage. I did not want to either.
    I am just gonna toss some stuff out here...
    Differing shoes? Heels, not heels etc. (This worked for me and now it seems years later, I can squat in most any shoe)
    Rehband knee sleeves?
    Bar placement various places on the back?
    Working over a period of time from say 1/4 squats down to easing into 1/2 perhaps slowly strengthening the knee?
    Trap Bar deads standing on blocks for a while then slowly adding squats in?
    Trigger points and or foam rolling up and down the leg and especially around the knee?
    Band leg curls, then some light squatting?
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBlack View Post
    2 cents...
    I think it is possible to set up text book and still perhaps get pain, depending on your makeup and perhaps just how some people are different. And let me tell you I feel your pain so to speak (no pun intended)
    I cannot tell you what will or will not work. If you are bent on not giving up, then I applaud your courage. I did not want to either.
    I am just gonna toss some stuff out here...
    Differing shoes? Heels, not heels etc. (This worked for me and now it seems years later, I can squat in most any shoe)
    Rehband knee sleeves?
    Bar placement various places on the back?
    Working over a period of time from say 1/4 squats down to easing into 1/2 perhaps slowly strengthening the knee?
    Trap Bar deads standing on blocks for a while then slowly adding squats in?
    Trigger points and or foam rolling up and down the leg and especially around the knee?
    Band leg curls, then some light squatting?
    Thanks for the suggestions and response. As far as heels go what would you suggest? I have a pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes that I haven't worn in a while, lately I've just been wearing my Chuck Taylor All Stars to squat in. One thing I did notice is that I did box squats for a while trying to ease my way back into squatting and those seemed to be fine. I may just have to stick with those for a while. I will def start getting serious about the foam rolling though.
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    Re: Knee pain during squat, form to blame?


    Quote Originally Posted by whaz View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions and response. As far as heels go what would you suggest? I have a pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes that I haven't worn in a while, lately I've just been wearing my Chuck Taylor All Stars to squat in. One thing I did notice is that I did box squats for a while trying to ease my way back into squatting and those seemed to be fine. I may just have to stick with those for a while. I will def start getting serious about the foam rolling though.
    Careful with box squats most people have the tendency to break down in form and "relax" slightly in the boxed position. An alternative to box squats is rack squats.

    Like Jason (Zir) said look straight ahead. Find a spot in the wall straight ahead stare at that and don't stray.

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    Quote Originally Posted by whaz View Post
    Thanks for the suggestions and response. As far as heels go what would you suggest? I have a pair of Adidas weightlifting shoes that I haven't worn in a while, lately I've just been wearing my Chuck Taylor All Stars to squat in. One thing I did notice is that I did box squats for a while trying to ease my way back into squatting and those seemed to be fine. I may just have to stick with those for a while. I will def start getting serious about the foam rolling though.
    No problem. For a while, I squatted in a work boot. I have not been able to squat in a flat shoe.
    The thing is, to try if possible what you can. I can only suggest, but I do seem to know some people can squat better with a slight heel. The weightlifting shoe sounds like a start.
    I also see that you are 6' tall, and so am I. Not saying our builds are the same, but if I had to bet, you are probably built more for pulling, than squatting. Not to say you cannot squat, and squat heavy (look at guys like Gillingham) but you may not have the leverages to sit back (especially if you are squatting raw) and use a flatter shoe.
    As I said, just make some subtle changes and don't go to heavy until you get some time and strength on that knee. You may be surprised how you come around and find your actual squat groove that is painless.
    Lastly, the box squat fro me is iffy, but again I am a raw lifter not suited. I think box work is more geared towards using a suit. Now that said, if you can squat down to the box, or as another poster said, the pin, you might try that too. If you get a few sessions without pain, then you know it can be done. So to keep replicating that W/O/form etc., may have you moving in the exact direction you want, up.
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    I just thought of this as I read through some of Paul's posts, but you also might want to try incorporating goblet squats into your workout and/or warm up. Goblets are a great way to train the squatting movement and increase the mobility needed to squat deep while maintaining an upright rigid torso. You could work your way up to zercher squats when more resistance is needed.
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    I like the idea of goblet squats, never tried the zercher squats but I'll look into them as well. I suppose next on the list is the shoes and maintaining neutral head position. Thanks for all the input guys I really appreciate it. Nothing gets my legs better than a good ol fashioned squat so I really don't wanna give them up, plus I just feel like a pu$$y doing leg extensions lol. I don't need to sculpt my legs, just need power!!! I'll spend some time figuring things out and hopefully find something that works.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    I just thought of this as I read through some of Paul's posts, but you also might want to try incorporating goblet squats into your workout and/or warm up. Goblets are a great way to train the squatting movement and increase the mobility needed to squat deep while maintaining an upright rigid torso. You could work your way up to zercher squats when more resistance is needed.
    Yeah, that is not a bad idea either. I used those ala Dan John for a bit and had a gf doing them to help her hams/quads strengthen.
    The bottom line is not to give up EVER, unless you want to!?
    Too many guys have been told their athletic career was over, only to fight back from way worse odds than this. Find a way dude.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdez View Post
    Careful with box squats most people have the tendency to break down in form and "relax" slightly in the boxed position. An alternative to box squats is rack squats.

    Like Jason (Zir) said look straight ahead. Find a spot in the wall straight ahead stare at that and don't stray.

    - Valdez
    I typically like to do box squats at much lower weights so I can keep my form strict because I definitely am guilty of relaxing so to speak at the heavier weights on the box, thanks for the input.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaulBlack View Post
    Yeah, that is not a bad idea either. I used those ala Dan John for a bit and had a gf doing them to help her hams/quads strengthen.
    The bottom line is not to give up EVER, unless you want to!?
    Too many guys have been told their athletic career was over, only to fight back from way worse odds than this. Find a way dude.
    Yea giving up isn't really an option even if I wanted to. I'm an EMT/Firefighter and I need my legs to not only function properly but I need some good strength as well. My only concern is that I don't want to make it any worse ya know? But I feel like as long as I don't get impatient and try too much too soon I should be ok.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whaz View Post
    I typically like to do box squats at much lower weights so I can keep my form strict because I definitely am guilty of relaxing so to speak at the heavier weights on the box, thanks for the input.
    Umm, I would MAYBE box squat, under the guise of a coach or someone who knows what they are doing, instead of just doing it because you think it may make you stronger or it is the flavor of the month. WSB etc. do lower onto the box and more or less relax under control as to not stump the spine and roll the butt back some then kick the hams in and get off it.
    It is not really a novice or even intermediate tool, IMHO and actually, 95% of anyone squatting (unless again you are a geared lifter) can go to near their max potential without using it and just using regular squatting techniques down, then turning around at bottom and coming back up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by whaz View Post
    My only concern is that I don't want to make it any worse ya know? But I feel like as long as I don't get impatient and try too much too soon I should be ok.
    Hey guy, why don't you think about a few cycles of trap bar deads and see how the knees holds up and strengthens? They are a bit easier on the knees IMO, as you do not have to go as deep, unless you start adding in deficits!?!? Then maybe in 6 months or so try some squats? Just a suggestion
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    Re: Knee pain during squat, form to blame?


    Quote Originally Posted by whaz View Post
    Yea giving up isn't really an option even if I wanted to. I'm an EMT/Firefighter and I need my legs to not only function properly but I need some good strength as well. My only concern is that I don't want to make it any worse ya know? But I feel like as long as I don't get impatient and try too much too soon I should be ok.
    I'm a firefighter as well and ideally the firefighters that are in better shape are pretty athletic and also train accordingly

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdez View Post
    I'm a firefighter as well and ideally the firefighters that are in better shape are pretty athletic and also train accordingly

    - Valdez
    No kidding. We have a big fire fighter strength and conditioning research project going on at UK. I haven't had much of a chance yet to get involved, but hopefully in the coming months we'll be doing some HRV, recovery, and fire fighter specific performance studies:

    http://education.uky.edu/KHP/content...ghters-project
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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdez View Post
    I'm a firefighter as well and ideally the firefighters that are in better shape are pretty athletic and also train accordingly

    - Valdez
    Yea that's for sure. At the moment I swim laps 3 times a week and lift 4 times a week. Seems to be meeting my needs fairly well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZiR RED View Post
    A video says a thousand words. Your description sounds good, although I would suggest keeping your head level, not up.
    IMO, you can say lots about how great form is, but like Red said (lol), a video says a thousands words.
    you can call me "ozzie" for short.
  

  
 

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