CSA Physio Blog

Do your knees hurt when you squat?

Posted on: January 5th, 2018 by Bradley Green
Bradley Green

PT (Physiotherapist)
Bradley graduated with a Master’s of Science in Physical Therapy from the University of Alberta in 2016. Prior to that, he attended the University of Manitoba where he completed a Bachelor of Kinesiology, graduating with honours with distinction in 2014. See Bradley and the rest of the staff at our South Edmonton location

Squats are one of the most commonly performed exercises in gyms worldwide.

Some squat variations include front squats, back squats, single leg squats, and goblet squats, just to name a few. It is tough to argue that any other group of lower body exercises can develop strength, size, power, and speed like the squat and its variations can. So whether you use the squat to build bigger legs or to enhance your performance in your respective sport, squats should be a keystone in any well rounded training program.

Unfortunately, physiotherapists hear all too often that people don’t squat because it hurts their knees. The squat itself is a complex movement that requires strength, mobility, and coordination in order to complete it functionally and pain free. Issues can stem from anywhere along your body’s kinetic chain including your feet, ankles, knees, hips, pelvis, and spine. Inadequate mobility or strength in any of these regions can lead to certain movement patterns that can all cause knee pain!

Now, even if you aren’t an “athlete”, per se, but you find it challenging to do day to day activities – like getting on and off the toilet, into or out of chairs, or even going up or down stairs – squats (and their variations) are a great exercise to make your life easier.

My background is in strength and conditioning and I have worked with clients ranging from pediatrics to the elderly. I have also trained and coached individuals from weekend warriors up to international level athletes across various sports, and I compete in Olympic weightlifting. Squats are a staple in my training routine and they can (and should) be a training component for everyone who wants to get stronger and improve their performance.

So, what does this all mean? Well, if you have knee pain during any of your daily activities or when performing squatting variations at the gym, a physiotherapist can help. We are trained to assess your biomechanics and determine the most effective exercises and treatments to help decrease your knee pain and get you squatting pain free again!


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