Do You Get Knee Pain When You Squat?

I wanted to tap into my good friend and expert on knee pain, Rick Kaselj. He’s a personal trainer in Vancouver, Canada that specializes in designing exercise programs for clients recovering from injuries.  Rick has trained thousands of clients and completed his Master’s of Science degree focusing on injury recovery.  Rick shares with other fitness professionals and exercise enthusiasts, the exercises he uses to prevent knee injuries and overcome knee injuries in the Knee Injury Solution program. Here’s a great article he sent me…take it away Rick:

Clients always are saying to me that they get knee pain when they squat.

When they say this to me, I let them know of three ways that they can end their knee pain when squatting.

It is really simple and I know you can do these things right away.

#1 – Weight On Your Toes

When I get my clients to show me how they squat, I find they are putting too much weight on their toes.  When you put too much weight on your toes, this contracts your quads.  Increasing the contracting of your quads leads to the kneecap being pressed up against the knee joint.  The increase pressure of the kneecap against the knee joint leads to knee pain.

A quick fix you can do is shift your weight so your weight is more over the middle of your foot or on your heels when you squat.

This might feel a little funny but it will make your knees happy and work your gluteus more.

#2 – Flat Feet

A second thing I see in my clients is their feet will collapse inwards leading to flat feet.  What this leads to is the knees falling inwards.  When the knees fall inwards this pushes the kneecap in and up against the inside of the knee joint.  This leads to stress in the knee and eventually pain in the knee.

What you can do is look at your shoes and see if they are providing you enough support when you are squatting.  Are they old shoes with no support on the inside of your feet?  If they are, it might be time to get new shoes to exercise in and this will help prevent you feet from flattening and fend off knee pain.

#3 – Poor Core Strength

When you move from standing into a squat, you need your core to be strong.  If you core cannot hold your upper body position in a squat, what happens is your upper body moves forward which puts more stress on your toes.

Make sure your core is activated and strong when you do the squat and don’t let your upper body move too far forward.  If you can’t do this, make sure to add some exercises like rowing in the ¼ squat position in order to improve your activation, endurance and strength in the care.

If you have knee pain when you squat, I know if you do the three things above will get rid of your knee pain.  They are really simple and fast to do.

Give them a go and let me know if you have any questions.

You can get more information about Rick’s program by visiting