Why Do the Knees Come in During Heavy Squat Attempts? - FITNESS PAIN FREE

Why Do the Knees Come in During Heavy Squat Attempts?

So we’ve all heard that the knees coming in during squatting isn’t really a good thing.  Knee in during squats can increase stress on the lateral (outside) portion of the patellar femoral joint.  Knee in at the bottom of a squat (combined hip flexion, adduction and internal rotation) can also create increased compression in the front of the hip.  Too much of this stress can lead to pain in some people.

I think most people understand that keeping the knees aligned with the toes can maximize the health of the knees and hips but what I think people don’t always get is:

“Why Do the Knees Come in During Heavy Squat Attempts”

Is it weak glutes?  Mobility issues? Didn’t eat your Wheaties that morning? Maybe a combination of all 3?  Having thought about this issue quite a bit and discussing with my colleague Dave Tilley, here are my best guesses as to why this happens.  Check it out:

So there you have it, with a combination of the adductor magnus (adductors) trying to find a more optimal length tension relationship and the glutes (which are generally hip extensors and external rotators) being in a more disadventageous position (maximally stretches at end range hip flexion) the knees get pulled in during the most challenging portion of the lift.

I also believe the knees come in because the body is trying to find stability from more passive structures, but that’s a story for another day.  If you enjoyed this short clip then I wanted to let you know it’s part of a much longer webinar series included with subscription into my Fitness Pain Free Insiders Online Mentoring Program:

“Essential Coaches Series – What Every Coach Needs to Know About Pain and Injury”

I created this series because coaches and personal trainers everywhere are working with athletes in pain every day of the week.  This series will tell you exactly what to do (and what not to do) with these athletes so they can continue working towards their goals and prevent injuries in the long haul.

  • 7 Reasons Why Athletes Get Hurt in the Gym and What to do About It
  • Evidence Based Guide to Mobility Prescription
  • What is Pain and What You Need to Know When Dealing with Athletes in Pain
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Knee in for the win,

Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1

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