Knee Pain with Squats

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08/14/2023

It is common to have knee pain with squats at some point in your life. It can be caused by a number of different factors, so let’s dive in.

Why Do I Have Knee Pain with Squats?

  1. Form: Poor form is a common cause of pain with squats due to not having the correct biomechanics. Click here if you want to learn how to squat properly. If you want to learn in real time, check out my services.
  2. Volume: Have you recently increased the volume of squat or lunge variations? How about the volume of running, biking, hiking, etc? Improper training volume is another top reason I see clients having pain. Making sure to appropriately build the volume of the modes of exercises you are performing is important for staying injury free.
  3. Pre-existing Knee Pain/Injury: Do you already have a knee injury or pain? Then there is a chance you will have pain with squatting. The reason being that squats load your knee, this is not a bad thing. Maybe you need to back off on the depth of your squats, prior to building back to full range. Having pain does not mean you shouldn’t do exercises that involve squat or knee-dominant motions. You may need to back off and modify until you can return to the full range of motion.
  4. Post-op: If you recently had a knee surgery you will have swelling in your knee making it feel more full and painful with squats. As your swelling decreases it will become less painful. I would recommend starting with a small range of squats (1/4 squats) once you are cleared to perform them and gradually increase the range.
  5. Arthritis: It is common to have arthritis in your knees. Some people have arthritis in their knees but don’t even know because it is not symptomatic. When starting to do squats with arthritis, you may find that you can only tolerate a small range. As you get used to the movement and can tolerate weight, you will be able to gradually increase your range. With the goal to find the range, you can consistently tolerate.


Get Started Today

Ready to learn to squat and perform other strength exercises with your knee pain? Sign up for a complimentary initial consultation here, or check out my physical therapy services and email me to get scheduled today.