Knee Pain When Squatting – 5 Shocking Causes

Knee pain when squatting can be terrible and quite annoying to those who prefer to exercise daily.

The knee is a very important and complex point in our body that takes hold of almost all our bodies. If anything serious were to happen to our knees, it would completely change how we did things in our daily lives.

Hence, you should look into it if you feel that you are experiencing knee pain when squatting, not just in the gym.

On the other hand, squatting is an amazing exercise if you want to get your glutes and hams toned. If done right, squatting can help you get the rear of your dream!

Causes Of Knee Pain When Squatting

1) Tendonitis

What is Tendonitis?

Overuse can prompt injuries like muscle strains or even inflammation of the tendon. This condition is known as tendonitis1.

You can get tendonitis of the patella ligament, which runs from the kneecap to the shin bone. You can likewise encounter tendonitis in the quadriceps ligament on the upper leg. It is also possible you get hamstring tendonitis, which happens on the back of the upper leg.

This condition mostly occurs in heavy weightlifters but can occur in people having jobs that keep them moving on foot for most of the part.

2) Synovial Plica Syndrome

Plica syndrome: Signs, symptoms and treatment of this uncomfortable knee pain

Synovial plica disorder (or SPS2), otherwise called knee plica condition, comes from overuse. There are three plicae (folds in the tissue of the knee joint):

  1. Suprapatellar
  2. Medial patellar
  3. Infrapatellar

This condition is portrayed by knee pain when squatting, mostly at the front or where your kneecap is.

A clicking or snapping sensation may likewise be a side effect of SPS, especially when you twist and extend the knee (as you do in a squat).

3) Osteoarthritis

Osteoarthritis - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment & pathology

Osteoarthritis happens with age and is a very common condition. But injury (like a meniscus tear) can build your risk of the condition.

Indications can incorporate pain, stiffness, swelling, and restricted scope of movement. People having the risk of osteoarthritis can also suffer from knee pain when squatting.

X-rays, lab tests, and a physical test can assist with affirming an osteoarthritis 3conclusion.

4) Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome

Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome | Diagnosis

The abnormal movement of the kneecap (patella), while we move the leg, causes it to push into the adjacent soft tissues, which in turn causes pain. This is why you may experience knee pain when squatting.

A physical therapist can help you relieve pain from this condition and could teach you to squat correctly. The therapist may also help you rule out a meniscus tear.

This way, you could prevent injury and carry out other physical activities as well.

5) Iliotibial Band Syndrome (IT Band Syndrome)

IT Band Syndrome (Outside Knee Pain) Exercises & Stretches. (Iliotibial  Band Syndrome)

Iliotibial (IT) band disorder is caused due to twisting the knee during running, cycling, swimming, and climbing tasks.

At the point when overused, the IT band can get stiff. The stiffening can make the band rub against the outside of the knee.

IT band syndrome may start as a negligible pain but then strengthen whenever left untreated. The best treatment is to quit doing the action that is causing the pain while taking physical therapy4. In more extreme cases, careful choices may be thought of.

The Right Way to Squat To Avoid Knee Pain While Squatting

For instance, when you search for something in a low cupboard, clutch the ledge and “sit” down, utilizing the muscles in your arms and posterior for bringing down and pulling yourself up.

If squatting this way is still excruciating, place a seat before the cupboard where you need to get something. Coming to the floor from a seated position is less unpleasant than on the knees.

Check Your Structure:

Checking your form while exercising is very important. Ensure your knees stay in accordance with your feet—not wobbling out of the way. Also, bring down your butt just to the furthest extent that you can without allowing your knees to twist forward past the tips of your toes.

It assists with watching yourself in a mirror instead of peering down, which can move your weight forward. At last, go at your speed.

Learn how to do box squats here.

Alter Your Moves:

If you experience knee pain when squatting, an alteration can assist with developing balance and equilibrium. Start situated in a seat. Presently stand, keeping your weight in your heels to keep your knees from moving forward. Sit down and repeat.

Another alternative: Stand with a solidness ball between your back and a divider. Press into the ball as you bring down your hips toward the floor.

Activation Of Glutes:

Activation of the glutes is something you’ll see loads of issues with. The glutes muscle weakness can also be a culprit for knee pain when squatting.

To do this, you’ll do a solitary leg connect test. Raise one leg into an extension, holding for 5 to 10 seconds. As you raise, observe the muscles you feel attempting to hold you up: quads, hamstrings, glutes, or back.

Step-by-step instructions to fix it: Double leg spans. Crushing up, press your glutes, drive your toes into the ground, and hold for 10 entire seconds, then, at that point, down. Do this for 20 reps.

Ankle Mobility:

Ankle mobility is very important while performing squats, especially if you are doing a box squat. Having poor ankle mobility can be the cause of knee pain when squatting.

The ankles need to bend accordingly while squatting, but if you have stiff ankles, your whole squat form could get disturbed and cause knee pain.

Here are a few ankle mobility exercises that you could try.

The Bottomline – Knee Pain When Squatting

shutterstock 1017821695
By fotoliza on Shutterstock

It is essential to prevent knee pain. In case you experience knee pain when squatting, make sure you get yourself checked. Physical therapy can be helpful in such cases for treatment as well as diagnosis.

Make sure you also get your weight checked, carry out exercises in a proper form, and strengthen your leg muscles. Taking rest days is equally important to avoid overuse injuries and can benefit in the long term.


Q. How many squats should I do a day?
  • If you’re new to doing squats, aim for 3 sets of 12-15 reps of at least one type of squat. Practicing a few days a week is a great place to start.
Q. Is it better to squat heavy or low?
  • Given the demand on your muscles to work through a full range of motion during the deep squat, research suggests that you’ll see greater increases in muscle strength and size than you would by performing shallow squats with heavier weight
Q. Do squats slim your hips?
  • There are multiple variations of squats, but jumping squats are the most popular. Not only will this workout strengthen your weak calves, but it will also help you build muscle, lose weight, and reduce hip fat.
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  1. Salz, Rachel O., et al. “Treatment of racehorse superficial digital flexor tendonitis: A comparison of stem cell treatments to controlled exercise rehabilitation in 213 cases.” Equine Veterinary Journal 55.6 (2023): 979-987. ↩︎
  2. Tokita, Masao. “Progress of spark plasma sintering (SPS) method, systems, ceramics applications and industrialization.” Ceramics 4.2 (2021): 160-198. ↩︎
  3. Sharma, Leena. “Osteoarthritis of the knee.” New England Journal of Medicine 384.1 (2021): 51-59. ↩︎
  4. Dantas, Lucas Ogura, Tania de Fátima Salvini, and Timothy E. McAlindon. “Knee osteoarthritis: key treatments and implications for physical therapy.” Brazilian journal of physical therapy 25.2 (2021): 135-146. ↩︎

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