We get a lot of questions about knee pain while squatting or lunging. This may be something you experience while exercising or in daily life. If so, this simple solution could offer much needed relief.
When we’re talking about pain—particularly knee or back pain—we like to say that posture dictates muscle function. Translation: moving in the right way makes all the difference.
One of our common movements in life (and a foundational movement within the FITFOREVER program) is squatting. Think about how often you bend to pick something up. When done the wrong way, a squat can put enormous load through the knees and low back, causing pain. When done correctly, the squat is a great way to build strength in the hips and core.
What’s the wrong way to squat?
Go ahead, give it a try without thinking too much about it. You’re likely off balance and your knees may extend over your toes. Maybe they’ll even buckle inwards slightly. If you have knee or back pain when squatting, you’re likely doing some variation of this pattern.
What’s the right way to squat?
The proper squat pattern should move from the hips, dropping the buttocks back to prevent your knees from shifting forward over your toes. Your knees may come forward slightly, but you should still be able to see your toes.
Most of the movement happens by dropping the buttocks down behind you. Give it a try. With feet shoulder-width apart, put one hand on your stomach, the other on your low back to feel for movement and hinge forward. You shouldn’t feel any movement in your torso. Practice sticking your butt out behind you and come back up. Once you get the feel of doing that without movement in your spine, add a little knee bend.
Watch the video above for a more detailed explanation.
The beginning of healthy fitness
The squat is one of the most important cues and movement patterns we teach in the FITFOREVER program. However, it represents just one of many interconnected movements that are essential for a healthy body and a healthy life.
Within our program, not only will you find several videos (with varying levels of difficulty) to help you master the squat, you will also gain access to hundreds of additional exercises to help you feel better, relieve joint pain, and start to live beyond your personal best. Give our program a try, and see for yourself how FITFOREVER can change your body and change your life.