How To Do Squats With Bad Knees

Having any kind of injury should not stop you from working out or ultimately from enjoying health and fitness.

If you suffer from knee issues then you might find that you are slightly more nervous or apprehensive about doing certain exercises that seem intense on the knee area. One of these exercises would be squatting, as this naturally seems like an exercise that would be especially strenuous on the knees.

How To Do Squats With Bad Knees

Is Squatting An Essential Exercise?

To give you a pretty straightforward answer when it comes to squatting… Yeah, it is a pretty important exercise. Squatting has a whole host of benefits and it is very popular amongst athletes and their workout routines will incorporate squatting.

If you are especially keen to gain muscle then you should absolutely be squatting, and if you are someone who is especially keen to lose fat then squatting will really help you.

Ultimately if you are especially interested in becoming a lot stronger, and a lot leaner, and a lot more powerful - or if you want to improve your overall pace and performance then you should definitely be squatting.

Although, it is important to note that if you are someone who develops bad knees, and you have never experienced this before but you squat in your exercise regime… then  your bad knees could actually be from squatting. However - this will not be the case for everyone.

Breaking Down Knee Anatomy

Before we even get into how squats can have an impact upon bad knees then it is essential to understand precisely how the knee actually functions. This will ensure that you are able to gain an understanding behind why exactly you might experience knee pain or discomfort too. 

To give a visual description of the knee, it is pretty clear that the knee is similar to a hinge which turns on an imperfect axis. So, when the axis is constantly changing it is important to bear in mind that the knee joint should not be forced into any kind of fixed axis exercises.

In fact, the knee is actually made up of seven different kinds of tissues and we will now outline these here:

  • The bone - the leg bones of the femur and the tibia usually form the outer structure of the knee, and the knee bone itself is actually referred to as the patella.
  • The ligaments - there are actually eight interior and also six exterior ligaments which work to give joint stability. They do this by connecting bone by bone, and along with cartilage then knee ligaments are often the focus of a whole host of injuries.
  • The muscle - here’s the thing, although there are no muscles in the knee joint - but the quadriceps along with the hamstrings work on the knee for flexion and also for contraction. Additionally, the smaller muscles that are around the knee add to some of the flexion and some of the inward rotation.
  • The tendons - these are fibrous elements which attach the muscle to the bone. In fact, the knee’s four fibrous extensors really connect the quadriceps and also the tibial tuberosity to the patella.
  • The bursa - it is important to note that the knee actually has 12 protective fluid sacs which are called bursa sacs. It is true that these are actually located in areas which end up causing friction. This friction will usually be between prominent bones, or muscles or even tendons. 
  • The adipose tissue - this is just fatty tissue that works to give padding.
  • The articular cartilage - it is important to note that there are two pieces of cartilage in the knee which provide shock absorption along with smooth articulation right between the bones which ultimately form the joint. It is true that many knee injuries will often have problems with the knee cartilage. 

Should You Invest In Squatting Equipment?

You may find that investing in squatting equipment will really help your progress when you are squatting. There are some different types of equipment that you might want to consider purchasing, and these pieces of equipment are squatting shoes, knee wraps and also lifting belts.

So, let’s explore how exactly investing in these pieces of equipment might benefit you and also your squatting.

First of all, let’s start with squatting shoes. Ultimately, it is crucial to bear in mind that your shoes are the foundation of your leg training. That’s right, if you do not have shoes which are stable and which are strong then you really have a risk of pronating or even supinating your feet.

This really depends on your knee weakness, or any other muscle weaknesses which you have, and your shoes’ lack of stability can really have a huge impact on this. Without wearing the best shoes for squats, you could end up injuring your knee ligaments and this could ultimately lead to your patella tracking in an improper way.

Secondly, let’s move on to knee wraps. Knowing how to wrap knees for squats properly can protect you. These are commonly used by people who have weaknesses in their knees and they actually help provide that extra level of stability when squatting.

Here’s the thing, wrapping your knees before you squat really helps to reduce the chance that the quadriceps muscle will tear - or in worst case scenarios - that the quadriceps tendon will actually detach from the patella. This is why it is extremely important that you choose and use the best knee wraps for squats. 

Last but not least, we can’t neglect lifting belts. We know that lifting belts are not related directly to knee health, but there are important benefits of wearing a lifting belt. Wearing the perfect powerlifting belt will ultimately reduce stress on the lower back while you are squatting with weights and therefore lifting in an upright position.

Additionally, it can really help you to prevent any kind of hyperextension when you are pressing right up and overhead. Make sure that you choose the best powerlifting belt to give you the support you need to up your performance. 

In Conclusion

Overall, it is important that you are careful when taking into consideration whether or not you are going to incorporate squats into your exercise regime.

If you are really unsure as to whether or not this is a wise decision for you then you should really speak to your doctor just to make sure that you get a professional perspective on incorporating this exercise into your workout routine.

Kevin Harris