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Knee Pain in Squatting (One Powerful Rehab Exercise!)- Episode 424

Video Highlights

- A squatting strategy to help you get one pain-free rep
- A regressed option to get you started
- A progression to gradually load your hip rotators and spinal stabilizers

Today we’re going to be looking at a follow-on to the previous video in which we were looking at knee pain while squatting.

So in the previous video, we talked about using a band, doing some squats while holding the band to see if that reduced your knee pain.

If you found that the addition of some kind of core rotational activity decreased your knee pain while squatting, I want to show you a couple variations using very light dumbbells.


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So I just have a couple of five pound dumbbells. And the idea here is we’re going to add a spinal rotation, or a trunk rotation, to a squat.

Now, the thing that you want to remember is that you can use this to regress.
In other words, make it easier for a painful knee, or you can use this to load that side as you’re getting stronger and as the knee pain is decreasing.

So here’s basically how it works. You can feel it for yourself. You don’t even need weights in the beginning. You’re going to set up for a squat, but before you go down, you’re going to take the weights, push them in front of you and then rotate. You’re going to hold them and reach off to that side as you’re squatting.

Now, the basic rule is this, whichever side you’re reaching to, you will feel an increased load in the hip and low back on that side. So let’s say I was experiencing knee pain on my right in a normal squat. I could use this as a regression.

In other words, reach to the left and work through that range of motion. We have found this to be incredibly beneficial because one of the things we’re always trying to get across to our clients is one pain free rep is the beginning of getting well.

So we often will use this for people who have pain while squatting to say, “look. Let’s practice a squat, gently and safely without pain.”

So we use this, we load the opposite side with this rotational reach, and all of a sudden, they’re typically able to go much lower, much more comfortably, or with no pain at all.

Now, let’s say we’ve progressed to the point that squats are feeling pretty good. I’m having a lot less pain and I’m ready to start loading that side. We can do the same thing now toward the side that was problematic. But instead of doing a deep or long reach,
we’ll just take the dumbbells. Hold them, close to the chest, and rotate, and squat there.

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The further, I move the weights away from my body, the more deeply I’ll load my hip rotators and some of the spinal stabilizers. So, you increase and regress, the intensity of the exercise based off how far you’re pushing the dumbbells away from you. So this is a great tool, used it for years, athletes have really benefited from it. And remember, the goal here is that one pain free rep. So give this a shot and let us know how it works for you.

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