Do you have the squatter knees?
How do you know if you have it?
If you have pain from squatting, due to squatting or trying to,then you most probably have squatter’s knee. Yeah it is that simple. Everyday i see and hear people from all walks of backgrounds coming to see me about their knees and when i try to assess their current condition, i realize that most of them have a line of problems which is repeatedly showing up. They are mostly mobility issues coming in from the ankle(s). Wait, did i just say the ankles? YES, the ankle. Lets try to gather some information why this is one of the more important thing you are currently not seeing as the culprit.
The ankle is a multi planar complex bone that allows articulations in Plantar flexion(your feet pressing the gas pedal), Dorsi flexion(slexing your shin muscles), Inversion((where you lift to check your arch of the feet and put most weight laterally), Eversion(think flat footed/ collapsed arch) and Rotation of the ankle. The ankle is as well, known as a joint that needs mobility and without mobility present the next joint upward takes the role. This is one of the many reasons why people are destroying their knees by limiting their ankle mobility! The pic below will hopefully paint a clearer pic to what i am trying to say.
A picture paints a thousand words
Here i want you to closely look at how much ankle dorsi flexion and how it leads other parts of the body to compensate and lead to not having an optimal squat. Look closely at where the bar is dropping down through the body and see how it can change if you have increased mobility in the ankle.
Why should i do it?
Short and Simple. Apart from squatting safely(saving your knees), if you walk, run and do many things that you are just oblivious about that involves a good range of motion in the ankles then you might be setting yourself up for injuries.
What to do
Check your ROM(range of motion) if you are having ankle mobility by doing two simple steps:
Step 1, Drop in a lunge position with you both of your knees having a 90/90 degrees(you might want to use a pad for the knee that is on the floor), 90/90 means having your legs in a 90 degrees bent for the leg that is in front and the one behind.
Step 2, Start by pushing your knees(the one in front) forward and pay close attention to when your heels start coming off the floor. Stop and draw a line(imaginary one of course) down from the knees to the floor and see how far the distance is. Chances are lower if you have more than 3-4 inches away from the feet.
You can use anything you have at the gym or choose something lower if you are having very low ROM.
You can use this drill before your squats adding new mobility which will relate to more elasticity, which can relate to more power and squat safely by distributing the workload efficiently. Do them while you are resting in between your squats as now your most probably much more “stretchable”, and even whenever you can do them to promote more flexibility in your ankle!
There you go, its about time you get rid of those aches and pains in the knees from squatting! Hope you found this helpful.