Squats = Knee Pain?

Clients always are saying to me that they get knee pain when they squat. They tell me that they want to give up squatting, so my next question is ‘Will you give up going to the toilet?’

Squatting is one of those functional movements that you MUST be able to do if you want to be able to stand from a seated position and do simple things like go to the bathroom unassisted. As well, squats help to make your legs look amazing by working the quads, hamstrings and glutes. This movement is metabolically challenging so you’ll burn a ton of calories which will help flatten your belly.

So, now that we’ve established that we need to squat, let me help you do it pain free.

There are four ways to end knee pain when squatting.

#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 increased 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 glutes 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 core.

#4 – The ‘Pee in the Woods’ Analogy

I always use this analogy when squatting: Imagine that you have new shoes on and you don’t want to get pee on your new shoes.

Immediately clients push their bums back and keep their shins more perpendicular to the floor. This allows for a proper hip hinge and less strain on the knee. Often times, clients will bend at the knee first and the knee will hover over the toes. You should always be able to see your toes when squatting because you’re pushing your butt down and back first.

Squatting is an excellent compound exercise that works the front and back of your legs, your butt and your core. You’d be surprised at how squatting will burn off belly fat.

Try my workouts in the My Bikini Belly program and you’ll not only lose your menopause belly, you’ll gain a rock hard behind in the process.