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Knee's come in on heavy squats? Video posted.

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  • Knee's come in on heavy squats? Video posted.

    I guess i'll first say, "heavy" for me isn't anywhere near what heavy is for the other beasts that post in this forum. However, I am having a pretty large issue with my squat that is causing me to fear progressing to heavier sets. Not sure I should have posted this in powerlifting because I don't compete any longer. I did one competition in which I squated 405 for 1, however my back bent over, and knees almost touched. I about killed myself.

    I'm 6'3 and try to squat to parrallel or just below. The issue I'm having is at the bottom of the rep, as soon as I start to come out of the hole, my knees want to bow in. I drastically fight this, putting the weight on my heels and outside of my foot, however as the weight gets heavier or the reps go up my knees begin to go in. I'm finding that my quads are not sore, and even legs do not feel worked when I am finished because I am stopping as my knees begin to become unstable and I fear an injury.

    After speaking to few heavy squatters at the gym, the general consensus is that my hips are very tight, and the inside of my legs are too weak, causing my legs to want to bow in. I have very flat feet which also may contribute to my issue. Has anyone else ever dealt with this issue? Is there a general consensus about how to begin fixing it so I can squat to failure safely?

    Today my work set was 250x9 reps. On the 9th rep my knees became unstable so I racked the weight. I followed that with a widowmaker of 205x22.

    Below is 1 extra set I performed with hopes of showing my squat form and the issue I am having with my knees. I did 225x13. You should see on the 12th rep my knees started to really bow in. I did 1 more rep fighting to push my knees out and racked the weight. I'm sorry if you can't see much in the video. Let me know if I need to take another one.

    http://s1204.photobucket.com/albums/...t=IMG_0155.mp4

    Any criticism or recomendations is very appreciated.

  • #2
    Originally posted by Getnbigger View Post
    The issue I'm having is at the bottom of the rep, as soon as I start to come out of the hole, my knees want to bow in.

    Has anyone else ever dealt with this issue?

    Is there a general consensus about how to begin fixing it so I can squat to failure safely?
    I cut out some extraneous information.

    Yes, although we may not have the same cause for this effect. In my case, it was weak glutes, specifically gluteus medius, and being hugely quad dominant when I squat.

    I am not sure what posterior chain exercises you currently have going on or what routine, so this may be one area in which to take a look. This was the first avenue I explored.

    In regards to what everyone in the gym said, if the inside of your legs are weak, why would your knees shoot in? (Not indicting, just questioning)

    Also, technically speaking, you are squatting to failure, if failure is defined as loss of proper technique. Are you wanting to go to absolute failure?
    FEAR THE FROG


    Originally posted by John Broz
    If your family was captured and you were told you needed to put 100 pounds onto your max squat within two months or your family would be executed, would you squat once per week? Something tells me that you'd start squatting every day. Other countries have this mindset. America does not.

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    • #3
      knees caving in on a squat probably has to do w/ a glute. medius strength imbalance... a good suggestion would be getting a cheap ankle stretch band and put it around your knees, focusing on keeping that band stretched out during your squat. basically stretching the band is going to require your glute. med. to fire and will hopefully help to strengthen it w/o having to incorporate extra work..
      M.S., B.S., B.A., CSCS, USAW

      "There is no substitute for strength, and no excuse for the lack of it"

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      • #4
        just read a little more on your post, your knees are caving because of a lack of abductor strength (movement away from the midline) rather than adductor strength. because the adductors are stronger, the knee tracks inward if that makes sense? i think this is not a posterior chain issue as much as an abductor/adductor imbalance..
        M.S., B.S., B.A., CSCS, USAW

        "There is no substitute for strength, and no excuse for the lack of it"

        "Two pains in life: pain of hard work and pain of regret"

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        • #5
          Brineal: Very good advice.

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          • #6
            I am not a squat expert but being 6'3, Have you tried to point your toes out more and widen your stance a little more. I'm only 6'1 but I am lanky and it helped me a lot. I always keep working on my form, because squatting doesn't seem natural for me.

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            • #7
              Do a single leg movement after your squats or deads, or whatever heavy barbell excercise you are using for your lower body. I love reverse lunges ( step back instead of froward) and single leg squats with the rear foot eleveated, walking lunges are great too. I prefer to keep the weight the same across all sets for these and definetely keeping a rep or two left in the tank, don't try to go balls out to failure on these because your form will go to shit towards the end of the set. Do 3-4 hard sets of 8-10 reps per leg. When you get stronger up the weight, 10lbs total is a good rule of thumb.
              Last edited by Yev33; 08-18-2011, 02:16 AM.

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              • #8
                As others said, it's due to weak abductors and/or a form issue. Especially in the hole you have to actively think about driving your knees out to activate your glutes. Incorporating some glute activation work in your warm-up can help a lot with this to get your glutes firing. Things like lying clams, bw bridges, squatting with a band around your knees, etc. Whenever I see this issue I have them stretch hip flexors and do lying clams and glute bridges before getting into the squat. Then think about driving your knees out even during your warm-ups, just get it ingrained into your head to drive out and use your glutes out of the hole.

                After squats hammer things like single leg movements concentrating on form, and extra glute work. Things like seated abduction, standing abduction, glute bridges, etc. I would do abduction work standing and seated because the glute max is involved in transverse abduction (with hips bent). With hips straight it's all glute medius, minimus.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by brineal View Post
                  knees caving in on a squat probably has to do w/ a glute. medius strength imbalance... a good suggestion would be getting a cheap ankle stretch band and put it around your knees, focusing on keeping that band stretched out during your squat. basically stretching the band is going to require your glute. med. to fire and will hopefully help to strengthen it w/o having to incorporate extra work..
                  Thank you for this idea. I will get a band and begin trying.

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                  • #10
                    Thank you everyone for your replies. Just to make sure I am understanding correctly. My abductors are weak in comparison to my adductors and I need to begin strengthening them. Also, single leg work will help me learn to fire with my glutes at the bottom of the squat. I will begin trying to squat with a band between my legs to strengthen my adductors.

                    I am not familiar with a couple warm up terms, clam, or glute bridges. Is this meant to warm up my hips and allow me to fire my glutes easier?

                    I typically squat with my legs out wide and toes out. Is this the most efficient way due to my height?

                    Thanks

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                    • #11
                      You may want to consider trying with your feet about shoulder width apart...
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                      • #12
                        I had the same issue. I went to a Stability phase of training and worked on my muscles that were too tight and the ones that were weaker. I really had to put my ego aside and work with light weights. After evaluating what was going on I determined that my adductors, bicep femoris (short head of hamstring), TFL, and Vastus Laterals were probably tight and my Glutes, and Vastus Medialis were weak. I worked on glutes and abductor strength. For glutes I used tube walking and for the VMO I used ball squats (like a hack squat with a stability ball against the wall). I didn't worry about cadence for the tube walking, but for the squats I did a 4 second negative with a 1 second pause and a 2 second positive. For the tight muscles I used foam rolling and static stretching on the adductors and TFL (IT Band). Normally I use this type of flexibility training post workout, but in this phase I did them after a 10 minute warm up on the treadmill before any weight training. Since I've been back to regular training I haven't had this problem. I still concentrate on my form, but by working on these problems it makes it easier especially when you are pushing yourself.
                        Last edited by Doberman; 08-18-2011, 10:42 AM.
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                        • #13
                          I am not familiar with a couple warm up terms, clam, or glute bridges. Is this meant to warm up my hips and allow me to fire my glutes easier?
                          Yes.

                          Side-Lying Clam:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNSo5ISUN1s

                          Glute Bridge:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MwNP1Ure28Q

                          X-band walks are another good one:
                          http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK58Ii9ozmM

                          And try bringing your stance in just a tad. It might make it easier to drive your knees out. Also, it's hard to see in the video but sit BACK in the squat.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by brineal View Post
                            knees caving in on a squat probably has to do w/ a glute. medius strength imbalance... a good suggestion would be getting a cheap ankle stretch band and put it around your knees, focusing on keeping that band stretched out during your squat. basically stretching the band is going to require your glute. med. to fire and will hopefully help to strengthen it w/o having to incorporate extra work..
                            Was having the same problem as OP and did these today. Not only did I feel them in my ass more, I also was able to sit further and deeper than I have before. I will continue with these for warm-ups and rep sets. Thanks for the tip!

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                            • #15
                              Great advice!

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