Squats and Knees


A very basic knee diagram.

A very basic knee diagram.

One of the largest complaints about squats is that it hurts people’s knees.  I have a secret complaint about knees and squats too and I can guarantee it’s not that squats hurt knees.  It’s that squats are always blamed for knee problems, or back problems.  It’s not that squats are bad for knees, it’s the way most people squat that is bad for knees.  Squatting improperly is bad for knees.  And the sad truth is that most people squat improperly.  The same goes for backs.

However, a proper squat (or dead) will absolutely strengthen the knees (and back).  In fact, it is the greatest of all knee strengthening exercises.  Strong, healthy, and flexible leg and lower back muscles are the best defense against knee problems.  I have yet to hear of a method for getting strong, healthy, and flexible leg and lower back muscles that does not involve the squat.  You just can’t do it.

Outside of CrossFit, one constantly hears the refrain “I can’t squat because of my knees (or back).”  That might be ok if one was talking about the pullup or high box jump, but the squat is one, if not the, centerpiece of human movement.  Everyone, whether they realize it or not, performs a lot of squats everyday.  Getting in and out of bed and cars, up and down from chairs, couches, and the toilet, picking objects off the floor.  The list goes on and on.  Not too mention just about any kind of sport or physical activity.

Deep full ROM squats with proper technique.  Your knees (and back) will thank you.

Thoughts?  Please post them to Comments.


3 Rounds

5 Push Jerk 185/125#

10  Kettlebell Thrusters (use 2 KBs of different weight and switch hands every 5 reps)

10 Pullups (chest2bar of course)

Post WOD completed and score to Comments.