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When I squat in athletics my right knee hurts on the inside and sometimes when we max out or something my knee will hurt all day. If weight and load are needed, I weigh 105 lbs and squat 185 lbs. I ask my coaches but they say I'm fine, but I think they think I can just work through it. Could it be from my max jump from 155 - 185? By max jump I mean I was at 155 and within two weeks I was at 185 I'll have more info in the next 2-3 Hours.

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What do you mean "max jump from 155-185"? How long have you been squatting? What has your progression looked like? Could you say what weight you started at, how many sets/reps you've been doing, and how quickly the weight has increased? –  user3085 May 2 '12 at 13:38
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In addition to what Sancho asked, form could be an issue too. Are you hitting full depth (i.e. below parallel)? Knees not caving in? What type of squats are you doing (low bar, high bar, powerlifting, front, etc.)? –  Wayne In Yak May 2 '12 at 14:57
    
Indeed, I would make sure a coach/PT is checking your form on the maxed squat, because it is possible your knees are buckling or turning in as you come up. As for the "max jump," I'm not sure what you mean, but frequent jumping with bad form/support can cause knee issues, so it's something to consider. –  Moses May 2 '12 at 15:55

3 Answers 3

Without more info this is difficult to say. But I used to experience this same sort of pain and it was due to a muscle imbalance. Though I am right handed I am left leg dominant and my vastus medialis on my right leg was much smaller than on my left. My vastus lateralis on both legs, however, were pretty well developed (my squat stance is wide so my hips are strong). This caused the tendon on my knee to pull a little to the right giving me pain that was the equivalent to "Runners Knee". I corrected this by performing additional leg exercises to strengthen my right leg with emphasis on the vastus medialis. The first two things I would suspect are form and muscle imbalance.

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There's quite a lot that could be going slightly awry, I'd highly recommend working through:

http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/05/episode-253365-knee-pain-case-study.html

and

http://www.mobilitywod.com/2011/09/episode-318365-knee-pain-on-stairs-or-hills.html

I suspect you'll be able to self-diagnose using these posts.

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You most likely have poor hip mobility and activation. Inside knee pain can be associated more with adductor tightness/hip external rotation, you should be stretching those anyway.

Here are the steps to directly improve symptoms when training

  • Stop doing movements that cause pain.
  • Do dynamic and static stretching before every workout.
  • Do a light cardio warm up before hand to increase internal temperature, increase circulation and warm up joint synovial fluid.
  • Do plenty of warm up reps with little to no weight and slowly ramp up (155 -> 185lbs is 20% increase, too much for hitting a max, try something like 155, 175, 185)
  • Do box squats instead of free squats.
  • Do slow negatives (Come down slowly, 2 second count is fine on squats) and don't bounce. When you drop quickly the tendons, ligaments and other tissue have to use more force to decelerate and reverse the weight. Imagine a car collision at 10mph vs 80mph. So control the weight down.

For overall the knee health, I recently wrote an article on dealing with knee pain.

Some main points:

  • Daily low intensity activity is essential.
  • Regular foam rolling.
  • Increase flexibility by stretching common tight areas such as the adductors, IT band, hip flexors (Psoas, Iliacus), and hamstrings.
  • Improve ankle mobility and flexibility.
  • Make sure knee is in line with your feet and doesn't bow inwards. Usually has to do with adductor length.
  • Do more single leg movements! Start with in place lunges, master those and move on to more advanced movements.
  • Improve glute and hip activation by doing glute bridges, just make sure to use your glutes and not your lower back on those.

That should help a lot!

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Newer research suggests doing static stretching pre-workout can promote injury, rather than prevent it. I'd stick to dynamic, unassisted stretching. –  Robin Ashe Jun 25 '12 at 19:54
    
Static stretching is essential to achieve the prerequisite flexibility for training. Going beyond that might increase injury due to decreased stability. Mike Boyle talks more about static stretching in this article. " Static stretching would be done to increase flexibility while the muscle is most prone to increase in length. Dynamic warm-up would follow to prepare the muscles for exercise. Coaches need to think about length changes for long-term injury prevention and dynamic warm-up for short term injury prevention. Both are critical." –  mike Jun 26 '12 at 18:33
    
I know people want to hold on to static stretching because they've been doing it for so long, but the research that doing it before any exercise increases injury is continuing to pile up, and has been for more than a decade. –  Robin Ashe Jun 26 '12 at 18:40
    
I actually was against static stretching pre-workout before I started incorporating them back into my training programs. The issue isn't really about do or don't. It's a tool, when used properly yields great results. –  mike Jun 28 '12 at 18:15

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