Page 1 of 1

Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 12:55 pm
by jurffy
Hello everyone,

My question has to do with my legs positioning when bent. For example, when I go into a squat position, my knees turn inward while my feet need to overpronate. I'd like to keep my feet facing forward and squat down with my knees facing the direction my knees are facing. Is this something that can be corrected?

I appreciate any help I can get, thank you!

Jeffrey C.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:19 pm
by stuward
Feet should be slightly wider than sholders, toes pointed to about 30 degrees and knees tracking over toes. One way to correct the knees caving in is to place a small band around your knees and practice squating while holding your knees out.

Here's a site that uses that technique: ... f-a-squat/" onclick=";return false;

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 2:35 pm
by jurffy
Thank you for your reply stuward, I'll try 30 degrees. However, my knees collapse not due to instability, but from flexibility I believe. It feels as if my joints don't have that range of motion and are forced inwards. When I try to push my knees out, it's very awkward and hurts a little. Perhaps this is a flexiblity issue, or due to muscle tightness in the upper legs? I should also mention that if I do get my knees out, my feet would roll out with the ball of my big toe off the ground.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Aug 29, 2012 3:03 pm
by stuward
Try free squats until it feels right. It may be inflexibility.

Check out this article." onclick=";return false;

Grey Cook has a little trick where he had the trainee hold his toes, then without letting go, sits back into a squat. Here's a [youtube]demonstration:" onclick=";return false;[/youtube]

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Thu Aug 30, 2012 3:27 am
by Dub
From a mobility and dysfunction standpoint we could look at the joints over and under the knees: Ankles and hip.
There are a couple of things that can cause knees collapsing in:

1) Flat feet. Or something similar to it. The point lies behind your weight distribution. You put too much weight on the medial side of your foot, which causes the arch on your foot to lower and vanish. Now this can lead to some knee issues because when your have more weight on the medial side of the foot, your tibia and ankle are also more easily collapsing inward. Anthony Mychal suggested an exercise where you would squat down, then lift your toes up, and then move your weight around your foot, try to find a proper tripod balance on your feet. That's one way to notice how your foot balance will affect on your knees.

2) Firing issues or weakness in the abductors and stabilizers. The glutes (Especially glute medius), TFL, vastus lateralis. These are all muscles that try to drive your knees out and femur to abduct. If they are not working right, the adductors will have more control, the knee will be less balanced. Solution? Try to get some activation on the muscles. Stu threw a couple of great exercises, like the band on your knees. You can also do sideways walking with the bands to get those adductors going. Then for glute medius there is the side clams and lying lateral leg raises (also great for the TFL). On the latter ones you might want to try to get the glute medius more involved by pressing the lifting legs heel to the wall (Extending the hip).

3) Tightness. Soft tissue work just about everywhere around the knee is preferrable. Maybe some dynamic stretches. Especially on the adductors. Try this exercise by eric cressey: ... ults_video" onclick=";return false;

These are some ideas that came to my mind. It could be any of these, or just poor motor control, flexibility issues, anything. It's hard to say from such little information, but I'd recommend to try some of this stuff out.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Thu Sep 13, 2012 5:12 pm
by jurffy
Late reply.

Thank you for your help Stuward and Dub. I've been playing around and I find that I rarely activate my glutes, I'm working on that for now.


Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2012 8:39 pm
by Jungledoc
Late contribution (this thread was during a time that I was not posting much):

I believe that the knees collapsing in is mostly a habit. You just need to pay attention and practice until you correct the habit. Do body-weight or very light weighted squats, focus on your knees, and repeat until the new habit overcomes the old one. Then start adding load.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:06 am
by jurffy
I also believe that developing a habit through practice, makes permanent.

I've been trying to point my feet straight while screwing my feet into the ground, rotating the knees outward. When squatting, I am always consciously pushing my knees out. Recently I've noticed that the alignment of my knees to feet is slightly better.

However, it's true that when I get lazy and let my legs slack, my knees will collapse. This happens while standing or sitting in a chair. It seems like my knees are more likely to rotate inward when straight. Another time that I notice my knees rotating inward is right after the mid-stride of a run, the leg propelling me forward.

I am confident that over time, my squatting form will improve. I'm playing around with sitting in the Paleo Chair position more often. Though, my tailbone will tuck if I drop to rock-bottom (third-world squat). I really do think I have both hip and ankle inflexibility, which is why I've been holding a light weight to help stretch into it.

Dub, I think you are correct about distributing my feet weight towards the medial side. When I lift my toes up and create a tripod-like foot (feeling weight on both the heel and the all balls of my feet), my knee definitely points inward. Perhaps I should try squatting in these feet positions and continue to try and push my knees out. The knees definitely feel locked into position though, and it's hard to imagine it being able to change.

I appreciate your comments always! I may respond slowly, but I get to it.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2012 9:47 pm
by Jungledoc
jurffy wrote:I've been trying to point my feet straight ...
Do you mean straight ahead? I think most people do best with the toes angles out about 30 degrees. This will vary some with stance width, of course. The entire leg, including the foot should lie in the same plane.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Mon Oct 15, 2012 9:39 am
by jurffy
When I have my feet directly under my hips, I point my feet straight ahead. If my base widens, I do rotate my feet out accordingly. I just try to make sure my feet point in the same direction my knee points.

Re: Knee Collapsing in Squats

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2012 3:23 am
by BrisbaneAEP
Hi Mate,
I think you will find like many people you have weak external rotators of the hip. As mentioned above using a rubber band around the knees and making yourself actively force the rubber band is a good way to do this during a squat.
Another thing you might try is a single leg squat, you get much stronger activation of you Glute Max and will be more inclined to maintain knee position.
Other try a really remedial prehab exercise - the clam - before you do your squats. May look silly if you are at the gym though...