Squats and Knee Pain: Don’t Make It Harder On Yourself

Athlete with Knee PainEvery time I squat, I have knee pain, but I know I need to squat to build my legs. Am I just suppose to suck it up?”

I hear this SO much from new people when it comes to knee pain while squatting, and I feel for them.

The squat has been called the king of all exercises. You may have heard that to get great legs, you HAVE to squat, and if you’re not squatting, you’re just wrong.

Okaaaaaay… Peer pressure. Right?

But, what about if it hurts? What about if you feel achier the next day instead of sore? Are you supposed to suck it up and hope that eventually, your knees will get stronger and stop hurting? Or just live a life with sub-par legs?

A motto that I teach ALL my coaches and ALL the RTC members are that “Everyone should know how to squat, but it doesn’t mean that everyone SHOULD squat.”

What I mean by this is that yes… you should know how to squat, and most importantly, how to squat properly. Learning how to squat properly will fix a lot when it comes to achy joints, but there is more.

What I stress is finding the squat that works best for YOUR body.

Everybody’s BODY is built differently. Unique biology and individual biomechanics (a fancy way of saying that everyone moves a little differently) determine WHAT squat will work best for your body.

There are many different kinds of squats out there:

We have…
Barbell back squat
Front Squat
Goblet Squat
Split Squat
Bulgarian Squat
Belt Squat
Hack Squat
Machine Squats
Box Squat
The list goes on.

So while yes, you should squat, but the goal should be to find the kind of squat that works best for YOUR body and get good at it.

If you find that barbell squats causes knee pain, then STOP!

Do something else for a period of time and come back to the barbell squat on down the road. If you find that you get better results and less knee pain with a goblet squat, then do MORE goblet squats.

This right here, I’m passionate about at RTC. Finding the exercise that works best for YOUR body, finding what exercise gives YOUR body the best result. Not doing what everyone else is doing, but finding what YOU should be doing. Then, getting you good at it.

Look, fitness is simple, but not easy. Don’t make things harder on yourself by forcing yourself to be in pain because everyone says you have to.

If you find that a certain kind of squat doesn’t feel right, even if every social media fitness influencer and magazine says that you SHOULD, stop doing it, and do something that does feel good.

Getting great legs, getting in great shape, is more than just doing one kind of exercise.



In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.

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