Forums General Valgus right knee when squatting with load

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    • #71147
      AvatarSteven Meis
      Participant

      After videotaping my back squat I noticed my right knee collapsing in. I’m not sure whats causing this. Any suggestions on how to fix this?

    • #75326
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      is that at all levels of load/weight (ie. from air squat all the way up to load+reps) or only at the highest loads/reps and/or when you get fatigued?

    • #75327
      AvatarSteven Meis
      Participant

      It usually starts when I hit around 85 to 90 percent of my 1rm for multiple reps. Under no load or light load everything looks good.

    • #75328
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      if you valgus collapse, the risk of damage to the knee is very high. i would pull back to the load at which you do not have valgus collapse and stay there until you figure things out.

      since you don’t have valgus collapse with lighter loads, it is likely a motor control problem during stress. when you get stressed with the heavy load, something goes awry and you compensate by valgus collapsing. having said that, it is possible that there are some hidden mobility problems which may encourage such a compensation.
      i would work mobility as usual – make sure there is nothing in the hips and anything up/downstream that needs to be cleared up.  can you air squat all the way down ass to heels without butt wink? mobility to achieve that will decrease the chance that you’ll compensate due to some unknown mobility problem.
      i would try also squatting with a wider stance. what is the width of your stance now? 
      how low do you go on the squat? you may want to decrease the depth of the squat until you resolve this issue.
      you can also try inching up to the problem. find the max weight where you don’t valgus collapse. then find some fractional plates to add on only .5-1 lb at a time and see if you can repattern up to the first problem weight.
      when you come back up from your deepest part, do you squeeze the glutes and drive the knees outward in rotation with both legs?  sometimes it can be your external rotators of the leg that aren’t firing properly. you have to force them to do it consciously until it becomes natural….
    • #75329
      AvatarSteven Meis
      Participant

      Thank you for your feed back. My stance is about shoulder with apart. I get real low on my squat and have had problems maintaining tension at the bottom.

    • #75330
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      ah yes – if you hang out at the bottom and relax, that is a problem to re-generate tension to get back up.  always try to maintain tension the whole way down and back up.  this goes for any lift to never let tension go ever because recapturing the tension can be impossible, if you let it go in the middle somewhere.

      try not to go as deep, maintaining tension throughout the whole time, and see if you can get past the weight limit of where you would normally valgus collapse.
      btw nobody says you gotta squat to deep squat position – getting to horizontal, or a little past horizontal is more than fine…
    • #75331

      I think going slightly below parallel is the top number 1 thing people say.  Beginners are the ones who are most affected by this as its advertised by many.  The excuse I bought into was that it will work your quads more so then hamstrings thus leading to muscle imbalance and knee pain.  It is a lot less sexy to talk about working on motor control before you can go below parallel. 

    • #75334
      AvatarNathan Richer
      Participant

      ha yeah – when you squat to “only” 135 or 120 deg down from the vertical 180 deg, there are always the “experts” and the hecklers in the gym who come over and tell you you’re doing it wrong or you’re being a wimp for not going lower…

    • #75335
      AvatarSteven Meis
      Participant

      Thanks guys I will definetly focus on the motor control and see how it works out.

    • #75390
      AvatarDustin Weber
      Participant

      Mate look up postural restoration Right AFIR. It basically explains the assymetrical plevic alignment we take on due to favourance for one side of the body.

      Use the adductor magnus strength test they suggest to ID anybimbalances and use the associated exercises in your warm up to reset the pelvis.

      Head to eric cressey’s site for some more info to.
      As Mike Reinold would say – account for alignment and stability and mobility isdues tend to resolves themselves

    • #75393
      AvatarMichael Harker
      Participant

      Knees tend to cave in when the feet are rotated out too far, so I’d start by looking at that. Depending who you talk too, you may hear 30deg max ext rotation is OK. Others will say 10deg max. Personally, I’m more in the 10deg camp, but not for everyone. Some of it depends on your height, femur lengths, etc. But if your foot position is good, then I concur that the first corrective is to take weight off the bar. Then progress in smaller increments, always maintaining your knee alignment.

    • #75399
      AvatarTom Matchinsky
      Participant

      I have also found with people who squat too low and lose tension, it sometimes is beneficial to widen their stance a hair. It can create a higher stopping point which is still below parallel but allows you to maintain tension in the hole. 

    • #75409
      AvatarSteven Meis
      Participant

      Thanks for all the feedback. Christian I will definitely look into the postural restoration information. I recently incorporated single leg work into my routine trying to correct any muscular imbalances. I have been very conscious of keeping my feet straighter but I noticed my right foot tends to turn out once squatting. Not sure if this is due to ankle mobility or lack of internal rotation in the hip. I have always had the problem of getting to low and losing tension at the bottom. I can get away with it when the weight is light to moderate but get exposed under heavy load.After my crossfit coach looked at my video he pointed out my weight is shifting forward onto my toes. My heel stays down but definitely shifting forward. I’ m focusing on getting back to basics. Really sitting back on my heels and pushing the knees out. Getting stronger was a big goal of mine but I need to back a step back and focus on mechanics. Thanks again for all the feedback.

      Travis I’m going to try to attend the mobility cert your giving 2/21 in Stony Brook NY. Hoping to have the day free so I can go

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