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Knee Problems!


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So, I've been experiencing some knee pain, some times sharp pain mostly dull, in the outside of my left knee (think IT band) after doing low bar squats, a la Starting Strength, for about a week now. Cool story, right?


Well, unfortunately I would like to find a way to fix this so I'm looking for any tips from anyone with a similar issue just to see what this could be. Ideally, I'd imagine seeing a physical therapist would be the best route and I will pursue that if the issue gets any worse today, tomorrow, or after my work out Friday.


As far as form goes, my biggest issue is making sure my knees track out properly over my feet and this seems to be because I have the hip flexibility of an 80 year old nun. But, I imagine this is relevant since my knees not tracking properly means weird forces and bad things happening. I know runners can have issues with tightness in their IT bands but since there are so many other things that can come into play here, I'd like to at least get a few opinions.


Otherwise, I just squatted 100 lbs x 5 reps x 5 sets - I don't know the proper way to state this, I am fairly new - but my body weight adds a bit I would imagine. I am currently 231 lbs and 5'11". My workout schedule is MWF, adding 5 pounds on each day, alternating Low Bar Squats, Bench Press, and Deadlifts on one day with Low Bar Squats, Overhead Press, and Power Cleans on the others.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Stretch your knees good , dont stretch to hard just , just stretch carefully so you dont go to fast, also you should , also i recomend you to exersice your knees as often as you can but now heavy at all just so you activate your muscle and limbs. this solved my back pain

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Get a foam roller. Sounds like you know how to squat (what you should be doing) but you may have some mobility issues. Also how do you warm up?


If it's that painful go see a doctor. For now I'd let it rest a week, No lower body work at all & see how it feels but make sure to do some mobility work. General rule, joints need movements/muscle stretching. If you fuck your knee up then you're fucked...simple


Starting strength is great but it has you adding a decent amount of weight every week, This program just may not suit you & if you're new it maybe to much to quickly. It's more prudent to make smaller gains than trying to get to much done to soon.


Rippetoe is awesome, I always point people to his work when starting out but it just maybe not the right program for you.


mon-wed-fri is a smart way to train.


If you can video the squats so we can take a look at what your doing, It could be that something like eg width of your feet, position of your toes ect needs a little adjusting....

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Like sasquatch says, it's foam rolling and mobility work you need. If you have bad flexibility or imbalances anywhere in your lower body then somewhere else is gonna take the strain.


This is a great warmup;



Another great dynamic stretch;


Foam rolling;


Good glute stretch;



Even just spending some time sitting in the squat position (with your toes pointing forward and knees tracking out) is going to help.



The great thing about mobility work is you can do it as often you want. Don't force it, just keep working on it.

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Knee problems can be really weird. I had pain for the greater part of 6 months, it was all corrected once I was fitted for some custom orthotic insoles due to my flat feet (I was expecting the worst, insoles have made me pain-free overnight). It was simiar in the pain location to what you mentioned, off to the outside of the patella, sort of in that little valley between the kneecap and the knobby bone to the side of it, and would only hurt during squats or when I would jump/run quickly without being warmed up. For me, it was my feet messing with my knees, but that's just one thing it could be for anyone else.


If you can get any video of your squat form, that would help to find if there's anything that can be easily diagnosed where form could be causing the pain. Otherwise, best course is to take a week or two off, do minimal lower body work of any sort, and see how things fare on your return. If they still hurt, then it'd be best to get a diagnosis from a professional. But, if you have flat feet by any chance (or, just some really messed up arches), it can affect the knee joints as well, and something as simple as custom orthotics might be able to fix the problem, always worth checking into!

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I second veganessentials recommendation that you get some video to analyze, and I raise this video by Mark Rippetoe. Mark was a coach for the Olympic powerlifting team in several different games, and I'm not sure where he is now. But this video I've posted below saved me a ton of pain in my knees a few years back when I was having a lot of problems.



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