How do you protect your knees when doing heavy barebell squats?

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    How do you protect your knees when doing heavy barebell squats?

    Source: Dave Murphy- Coach/Mentor with over 110 IPL team earned records.

    Use proper form. With all the information out there, a common mistake is to try to push your body into a position itís not meant to be. Some people will say close stance, donít rotate feet out. Others, high bar squats, low bar squats, wide squat, etc.

    You need to find the squat position that allows the following:

    Space for your hips to drop to at least parallel
    Feet flat and connected to the ground
    Knees tracking in the direction of your toes.
    If toes point | |, then knees point | |

    If toes point \ /, then knees point \ /

    Neutral spine, so not over or under extended
    If youíre squatting correctly and not overloading on weight, there should be few to no pains or discomfort (aside from past medical issues, e.g. broken bones, strains, etc.)

    A common problem with squatting is wearing gym shoes. If you feel pain squatting, start over with the bar and squat barefoot. Work the weight up and if you notice the pain stops, the issue was likely from your shoes. A collapsed arch can also cause a problem, seeing a foot specialist may help by at least providing orthopedic support.



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    Quote Originally Posted by 9TMARE View Post
    Source: Dave Murphy- Coach/Mentor with over 110 IPL team earned records.

    Use proper form. With all the information out there, a common mistake is to try to push your body into a position itís not meant to be. Some people will say close stance, donít rotate feet out. Others, high bar squats, low bar squats, wide squat, etc.

    You need to find the squat position that allows the following:

    Space for your hips to drop to at least parallel
    Feet flat and connected to the ground
    Knees tracking in the direction of your toes.
    If toes point | |, then knees point | |

    If toes point \ /, then knees point \ /

    Neutral spine, so not over or under extended
    If youíre squatting correctly and not overloading on weight, there should be few to no pains or discomfort (aside from past medical issues, e.g. broken bones, strains, etc.)

    A common problem with squatting is wearing gym shoes. If you feel pain squatting, start over with the bar and squat barefoot. Work the weight up and if you notice the pain stops, the issue was likely from your shoes. A collapsed arch can also cause a problem, seeing a foot specialist may help by at least providing orthopedic support.



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    I would like to add in my experience squatting. Some people require heels and some dont. Some people no matter how hard they try can find it extremely difficult to squat without heels and maintain good bar path while maintaining leverages. One truth that holds for optimal health of your joints over time is... If you cant squat it without weight dont squat it with. Find a stance you find you can get to depth without any weight. Where your knees track over your toes. Where you can maintain spinal neutrality without hypertension. One that keeps that bar over the middle of your feet. Get comfortable with that stance then add weight. Then you will never be fighting your body.

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    Last edited by shawn4425; 10-03-2019 at 07:24 PM.

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    Ed Coan has some good videos out online showing good ways to squat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn4425 View Post
    I would like to add in my experience squatting. Some people require heels and some dont. Some people no matter how hard they try can find it extremely difficult to squat without heels and maintain good bar path while maintaining leverages. One truth that holds for optimal health of your joints over time is... If you cant squat it without weight dont squat it with. Find a stance you find you can get to depth without any weight. Where your knees track over your toes. Where you can maintain spinal neutrality without hypertension. One that keeps that bar over the middle of your feet. Get comfortable with that stance then add weight. Then you will never be fighting your body.

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    Finding the right stance is the key to protecting your knees in my opinion.

    Some structures require a wide stance and some require a narrow. You have to do what feels comfortable to you.

    Best way to find your squat stance is going into the hole with no weight at all. Get in a baseball catchers position with feet flat on the floor and make sure your weight is on your heels.


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    When it comes to knee support. Do you recommend knee sleeves or knee wraps? I use wraps because I feel I can control the support but I thought about buying a pair of sleeves.

    What does the group prefer?

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    Quote Originally Posted by knuckles740 View Post
    When it comes to knee support. Do you recommend knee sleeves or knee wraps? I use wraps because I feel I can control the support but I thought about buying a pair of sleeves.

    What does the group prefer?

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    Nothing unless your going really heavy. Sleeves for lighter stuff, wraps for really heavy. I dont like being dependent on them so I try not to use anything. Just look at Tom Platz and his legs, he didnt use anything


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    Knee sleeves are a game-changer for squats imo, just the heat benefit makes them worth using. No offense BBZ, but Tom Platz may arguably have the best leg genetics ever captured on video or print, thats hardly a good comparison for the average gym goer lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by BodybuilderZepp View Post
    Finding the right stance is the key to protecting your knees in my opinion.

    Some structures require a wide stance and some require a narrow. You have to do what feels comfortable to you.

    Best way to find your squat stance is going into the hole with no weight at all. Get in a baseball catchers position with feet flat on the floor and make sure your weight is on your heels.


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    I agree man. The catchers stance is a good way to find it. Once you find that balance youíll be ready to drive up and more than likely drive up properly with no back arch

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFO3 View Post
    Knee sleeves are a game-changer for squats imo, just the heat benefit makes them worth using. No offense BBZ, but Tom Platz may arguably have the best leg genetics ever captured on video or print, thats hardly a good comparison for the average gym goer lol
    I have sleeves and I feel they give me more security and more safety when going moderately heavy to heavy. Feels like my knees want to break without them. Could be in my head tho lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by shawn4425 View Post
    I would like to add in my experience squatting. Some people require heels and some dont. Some people no matter how hard they try can find it extremely difficult to squat without heels and maintain good bar path while maintaining leverages. One truth that holds for optimal health of your joints over time is... If you cant squat it without weight dont squat it with. Find a stance you find you can get to depth without any weight. Where your knees track over your toes. Where you can maintain spinal neutrality without hypertension. One that keeps that bar over the middle of your feet. Get comfortable with that stance then add weight. Then you will never be fighting your body.

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    Agreed Shawn! I also go sometimes with no shoes. It allows me to really feel the floor and get a better foundation.

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    Does anyone use / or believe in the shoes made for squatting. I saw some on Amazon. Lol

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    Quote Originally Posted by knuckles740 View Post
    Does anyone use / or believe in the shoes made for squatting. I saw some on Amazon. Lol

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    I've never used them but I know a few guys who swear by them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFO3 View Post
    Knee sleeves are a game-changer for squats imo, just the heat benefit makes them worth using. No offense BBZ, but Tom Platz may arguably have the best leg genetics ever captured on video or print, thats hardly a good comparison for the average gym goer lol
    True, not a fair comparison. I just dont like being dependent on anything in the gym. Not saying I dont use sleeves or wraps when needed. If im going to 405 or higher Iím using something around my knees, but repping 315 I prefer nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by knuckles740 View Post
    Does anyone use / or believe in the shoes made for squatting. I saw some on Amazon. Lol

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    I have flat feet and love using Otomix. They feel great when squatting or doing calves.


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    Quote Originally Posted by knuckles740 View Post
    Does anyone use / or believe in the shoes made for squatting. I saw some on Amazon. Lol

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    I've never used "squat shoes" but the type of shoe I wear definitely makes a difference in stability. I'm cheap so I use a regular ol' VAN style shoe on leg day
    Last edited by HFO3; 10-06-2019 at 03:55 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by HFO3 View Post
    I've never used "squat shoes" but the type of shoe I wear definitely makes a difference in stability. I'm cheap so I use a regular ol' VAN style shoe on leg day
    Same but mine are chucks.

    Leg day footwear should be -

    Completely flat bottom

    Not squishy like air Max's or the like

    Be able to able to lace tight so your foot doesn't move around under load

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