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:
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:
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.
Knee in for the win,
Dan Pope DPT, OCS, CSCS, CF L1
How a Lack of Strength Causes Compensation During Squats and Olympic Lifts
Another Reason Why the Knees Come in During Heavy Squats
How to Work with Athletes that Have Low Back Pain
How Bench Press, Dips and Push-ups Cause Shoulder Pain
The Largest Factor that Leads to Injury that No One Addresses
What You Need to Know About Pain to Get Out of Pain and Back to Training
How to Assess Overhead Mobility: Part 3
How to Assess Overhead Mobility: Part 2