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How to Squat without hurting your knees

Squats are one of the best lower body exercise that you can do, but many people are resistant to squatting because it hurts their knees. Fortunately there are likely things you can do so your squat doesn't hurt.

 How to Squat without hurting your knees min

Proper form

squat

Often knee problems are caused by improper form. To reduce knee pain, the knees should not go past the toes. When you squat, it should be a motion similar to sitting on a chair. Your feet should be about hip width apart with toes pointing straight ahead, or maybe slightly out. Press into the outside of the feet and the heels and lead with the hips and not with the knees. You will need to lean slightly forward, but you want to keep your head and chest up.

 

Muscle imbalances

Sometimes knee pain is caused by improper tracking at the knee. Watch yourself in the mirror or have someone watch you. If your knees are caving inwards try tying a band around your thighs just above your knees and pressing out on it as you squat down. You may also want to stretch the inner thigh muscles to help prevent this. You may want to have a physiotherapist or a corrective exercise specialist look into this. Not addressing it can lead to more problems in the future.

Modified squat

ball squatSometimes a modified squat is a better option. Two modifications are the ball squat and the chair sit. With the ball squat you place an exercise ball against the wall and stand with it resting in the curve of your back. Your feet should be hip width apart facing straight ahead. Step them forward so that you are leaning at an angle into the ball.

When you squat down your bum should go slightly under the ball as you lean slightly forward. The ball will help support you and allow you to go lower than you would with a regular squat.


Another way to modify a the squat is to use a chair or bench and perform a simple sit and stand exercise. This helps to teach you how to sit back into your squat.

Leave the deep knee squats to the teenagers

I often see people at the gym performing deep knee squats. This is where your bottom goes below your knees. If your knees hurt then don’t even attempt to do this If you want to make it harder while sticking to body weight squats try a single leg squat.

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