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I remember that I have always, even back in primary school, avoided anything similar to squats as my knees would do an audible 'click' every time I got low enough. It's not painful, or even unpleasant, it's just - annoying, and a bit scary.

I've picked up regular exercises a bit over a year ago and I have been running at least once a week (3 times per week since January) for half a year. I wanted to add squats to my training schedule but I'm a bit worried about the clicking sound - although I noticed that, since I started running, it's much quieter, and does not happen always (it used to click on every deeper move).

Should I worry about it, or just work my way up gradually and it will pass?

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I have the same thing, ever since I remember all my joints click while stretching, including knees, elbows and backbone. Never painful, but rather relaxing feeling accompanying. When I contacted a doctor about that, he just made some test, all of the results were ok, like I was perfectly healthy - I have no idea about the reason, but you can live with that :) –  user3215 Mar 28 '12 at 18:34
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up vote 6 down vote accepted

The very first thing to do is to make sure your form is correct. Nerd Fitness has a very excellent article on doing squats that you should check out. Here's a short summary, but I definitely recommend reading his full post:

  • Squat down until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor
  • Try not to extend your knees past your toes
  • Don't arch your back
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, and point your toes slightly outward

He also links to a video about the two most common squatting errors and how you can correct them, which I recommend you watch.

If you have the option, have a trianer or someone that really knows their squats watch you to ensure proper form. If after trying out his tips the problem still continues, then I suggest you have a medical professional have a look at your knee.

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From what I've been told, the click could just be something sliding over a boney protrusion. Which could be bad over time I imagine. –  Lyndsey Ferguson Mar 29 '12 at 2:13
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I don't see it mentioned in the NerdFitness article, but your knees should also point outward, aligned with the toes. Also, here is why the knees make cracking sounds. –  John C Mar 29 '12 at 11:54
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