Squat Struggles and Recovery

Readers discuss pain, strength limitations, and hindrances from previous injuries.

Some people struggle with squats. Just in our community here at Powerlifting Technique, readers have written in about pain, strength limitations, and hindrances from previous injuries.

In this newsletter, we’ll talk about knee pain and hip mobility. Those are two major factors for lifters struggling with squats.

This Week’s Resources

Why do my knees hurt when I squat?

If your knees hurt when you squat, your form may be incorrect.

Clifton Pho, a world-champion and record-setting powerlifter, advises lifters to, “Use a neutral spine, keep your knees behind your toes, and evenly distribute your weight between your feet. Or you could have an injury or knee weakness.”

But what if it’s not your technique?

Here are three common reasons Pho lists for pain from squats:

  • Too much weight

  • Over training

  • Not enough warmup

Of course, there’s so much more to discuss on the topic. Here’s our full guide on knee pain while squatting.

The guide explains why it happens, what to do t prevent knee pain while squatting, and an example plan of how to fix it.

Next Week’s Focus

Over the past two weeks, we’ve heard you! Our readers wanted more information about squat technique. That’s why we’re covering it this week. Let us know what you need, and we’ll find the answers.

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Top-Rated Home Gym Equipment

Our top-ranked equipment is still the Rogue Combo Rack.

It’s IPF competition-certified and can hold up to 1,000 lbs, making it perfect for powerlifting training. 

This combo rack has drop-in spotter arms and a removable bench, so you can practice heavy bench presses or squats.

Note that it’s got a pretty high price tag, and you’ll need to purchase weight plates separately, which adds to the total cost. We still find it worth the investment as a top-of-the-line powerlifting-specific home gym.

Check out the RitFit though, if you’re looking for a more budget model. 

What can I do to increase hip mobility?

While we’re talking about pain, we need to address hip mobility. It’s a topic we know well.

According to occupational therapist Elena Popadic, “Hip mobility is important for squatting because it allows you to reach good depth and feel stronger in the glutes while also preventing pain and discomfort in the hips, low back, and knees.”

She wrote a guide with 13 methods to improve hip mobility.

The methods include exploratory techniques to find limitations, slow exercises to increase your range of motion, and more advanced techniques.

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