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Thread: Squat Advice

  1. #1

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    Hi Mark, I have become a big fan of yours since someone recommended your books to me a couple of months ago. I am 38 years old and I am finally making some great progress in the gym!

    Two years ago I had knee surgery to correct a misaligned knee cap. It was an open surgery that involved breaking the attachment to the tibia, a lateral release, and reattaching my VMO quad further in on the kneecap. The procedure moved my kneecap inward ~1/2 inch. The knee has felt great since it was corrected.

    Since reading your chapter on squats I have made huge inprovements, but I am still having trouble with full range squats. Whenever I go past parallel I start getting intermittant stabbing pains in the knee later that day and the day after or so. It seems to happen if I overextend a little bit as I walk.

    I know how much you stress going the full range with squats, I was wondering if you have any advice for me on a way to proceed. In the meantime I am also doing SLDLs to ensure that my posterior chain is also being developed.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    North Texas


    If I had to guess, I'd say that your knee pain involves some chondromalacia secondary to the surgery. This is common in situations of patellar manipulation, and may correct itself with continued squatting, if you can stand it.

    If you are going to squat, for you I'd say that full range is more important than it might be for someone with healthy knees, for the reasons discussed in the book. It might be prudent to check with the doc and see if he thinks everything is still where he put it. If it is, I'd proceed according to your ability.

  3. #3


    Thanks Mark! Yes there was chondromalacia in the knee, mostly on the part that was contacting the femur that should not have been. With the knee moved over, the worst spot is normally not in contact any more, but maybe it does when I bend the knee more. I had not thought aboout that.

    Thanks again for your advice! And also for putting all of your excellent knowledge down in your books so guys like me can learn how to do things the right way!


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007


    I mean no offense butting in here but I want to heartily endorse this advice. . I had the exact same surgery as you, both knees. The rehab was about 3 1/2 years. in 2005 I still had pain walking down stairs. I could dead lift fine but even body weights squats were painful. I started working with a friend who was an oly lifter in college, she encouraged me to gradually work my way down with BW squats..the thing that did the trick was FULL range squatting. Once I got this down it went pretty quickly from there. I started 2007 with a half ass 100k back squat and am now closing in 180k. The thing that did it was full range front and back squats. Take as much weight off the bar as you need get as far down as flexibility will allow pain free, the LR and VMO re-attach is a pretty quick heal but the cartilage takes a Long time to come back.


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