I've been doing some YouTube yoga classes at home during lockdown.

It feels really good but a lot of the classes I've done involve doing the Chair Pose / Utkatasana... and theres something about it that really doesn't agree with my knees.

I don't have any other knee issues and was doing plenty of squats and lunges in the gym before the lockdown.

It may be that I'm not doing them properly (it really doesn't feel natural when Im doing it) so I'd rather just leave them out until I can go to some yoga classes in real life.

Are there any other similar poses that I can do instead that are less risky on the knees? I suppose I could just do bodyweight squats in place of them, but would rather stick to some form of alternative yoga pose if possible.


I have the same issue -- lifting up off the heels has made my knees feel better but we might have different knee pathologies. Maybe also try shifting your weight forward or back to emphasize either the quads or glutes, or moving the feet wider/narrower. Perhaps also sit higher or lower.

Other poses that work the same muscles would be any sort of lunge (warrior 2, crescent, etc) whereas a replacement in the flow itself may simply be standing pose or malasana (does that hurt your knees?)

  • Thanks, interesting! I seem fine with lunging exercises like Warrior etc... I'm starting to think my VMOs might be weak (this seems to be a recurring problem for me). I've started strengthening it so will have another go at the chair pose soon and see how I get on.
    – user34523
    Feb 19 '21 at 8:20
  • 1
    Good luck! Bad knees are the worst. I did read somewhere that the diagnosis of "weak VMOs" is being replaced by "weak quads" in general.
    – 900edges
    Feb 19 '21 at 13:58
  • Ah yeah I've read that too! I do sometimes find though that I can literally 'feel' the VMO being weak though if that makes sense... like when I kneel down on the floor, the muscle feels like it is weak and lengthened but then feels better with some strengthening
    – user34523
    Feb 19 '21 at 19:14

From when I was working out and doing any sort of movement involving my quads and getting pain around the knees, it was because my quads were tight and I didn't foam roll them enough. I would recommend giving that a try. Foam roll and stretch for like a minute or more at least where you feel really loose in the quads.

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