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Thread: I really don’t want to stop squatting. Help please

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  1. #1 I really don’t want to stop squatting. Help please 
    Raging Lunatic Starbuck's Avatar
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    Got a pretty serious problem… little bit of history first. I have been fatefully lifting recreational since I was 14, I’m now 57 that is 43 years, I did take a 15 year break 1995-2010 - life happened…

    I’ve been back into it for the past 7 years, 5-6 days a week…I’m very happy with my current condition, but I’m starting to realize that I can’t do that heavy lifting any more. I have come to accept that if I can maintain what I have, I would be extremely happy..

    So now the problem, exactly 2 year ago (Dec. 2015) I had been squatting 10 reps of 315 for six months then in Dec 2015 I was Squatting 315 (last set), Everything was good, and on my second or third rep I felt a POP and TEAR pain in the thigh area above the knee (VMO – Vastus Medialis). See red area in attached picture..

    Lucky I was in a squat rack, because I went to the floor, my thigh totally gave out. I started seeing stars, and immediately went into shock. Went to hospital and was told I either just tore a muscle or stretched it out..

    After several weeks of very gentle stretching, I started squatting with an empty Olympic Bar and very gradually build up over the next 6 months back up to 225. I was happy with 225 and at my age I was content with not going any heavier.

    It’s now 2 years later and last Saturday it was squat day, for my last set I was squatting 225. I lifted the bar off the rack and started to go down, I got about 20% into the first rep, and I started to feel that same pain in the VMO – Vastus Medialis. No POP, but more of a tear feeling, I racked the bar and limped off.

    The injury was not as severe as the first time, but it’s exactly the same location…bad enough that I probaly will not be squatting for several weeks at least.

    I really need some comments, on preventing this again, I think I have some solutions that “could” and “maybe” help. But the wisdom of the crowd is powerful….so please comment.


    • I have been squatting with an off the self running shoe, with a SOLE footbed inserts. The height/lift in the shoe from floor to the bottom of my heal is probably 1”. On top of that I have my heels on a 5/8 board. That is a total of about 1 5/8”, which I believe is way too much and putting too much stress/weight on my front lower thigh muscles.
    • I also feel that between the shoe itself and the insert there is too much sponginess and too much roll (wobble?) I find that I am fighting them too much to keep a firm stance.


    Solution? Get rid of the 5/8” board and running shoes and wear a proper squatting shoe with a 1” lift. This “should” help with preventing so much stress on my lower front thigh.


    • I have been using a neoprene sport sleeve just to keep my knees warm, but they really don’t give a lot of support.


    Solution? Stop using neoprene sport sleeve and try a using a knee sleeve design for squatting i.e. ABD, A7 or TITAN. I have wraps, but I just find them a pain in the ass getting just the right tension on them..

    I really don’t want to stop squatting..but this maybe what I’m facing if I can’t fix the problem…comments please
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  2. #2  
    Hardcore To The Motherfu*kin' MAX Hulk! No ego lifting's Avatar
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    I personally hate lifting in any regular running shoe.. Weight distribution just feels wrong. Get some proper lifting shoes, or do heavy stuff barefoot (or wear vibrams). Having said that, I don't think your shoes are the problem.

    First step is to see a physio imo. I also highly recommend SBD knee sleeves. They're expensive and an absolute bitch to put on/take off, but I find they offer a lot of support.

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    Vet Anvil's Avatar
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    I agree with squatting in flat shoes, no elevated heel. It puts a lot of pressure on your knees. I'm guessing you squat with your knees forward and not stacked overtop of your ankle.

    I'm a little biased because I powerlift. However, I've had a ton of guys with knees issues who have been rectified by learning to squat with better technique. (stacking the knee overtop of the ankle and using more glue/hamstring) I am going to be 53 and I've squatted 940 lbs in competition. Never had a knee problem.

    No disrespect intended but most people I see squatting don't seem to pay any attention to proper technique whatsoever.

    You might like this article:

    https://www.elitefts.com/education/s...-is-important/
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    Hardcore CJM ELDER Sorbate's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post
    I agree with squatting in flat shoes, no elevated heel. It puts a lot of pressure on your knees. I'm guessing you squat with your knees forward and not stacked overtop of your ankle.

    I'm a little biased because I powerlift. However, I've had a ton of guys with knees issues who have been rectified by learning to squat with better technique. (stacking the knee overtop of the ankle and using more glue/hamstring) I am going to be 53 and I've squatted 940 lbs in competition. Never had a knee problem.

    No disrespect intended but most people I see squatting don't seem to pay any attention to proper technique whatsoever.

    You might like this article:

    Squat Mechanics: Why Stacking the Knee Overtop of the Ankle Is Important / Elite FTS
    Great article. I never wear shoes when I squat and I have been squatting like that without realky knowing it. I just liked the way it felt.
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    Raging Lunatic Starbuck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anvil View Post
    I agree with squatting in flat shoes, no elevated heel. It puts a lot of pressure on your knees. I'm guessing you squat with your knees forward and not stacked overtop of your ankle.

    I'm a little biased because I powerlift. However, I've had a ton of guys with knees issues who have been rectified by learning to squat with better technique. (stacking the knee overtop of the ankle and using more glue/hamstring) I am going to be 53 and I've squatted 940 lbs in competition. Never had a knee problem.

    No disrespect intended but most people I see squatting don't seem to pay any attention to proper technique whatsoever.

    You might like this article:

    Squat Mechanics: Why Stacking the Knee Overtop of the Ankle Is Important / Elite FTS

    I have definitely been squatting with my knees out forward and not stacked...I'm taking your advice and keeping the article in mind when I start squatting again. I will also ditch the running shoes and board and search out a true flat soled squatting shoe. I will have un-learn what I have been doing wrong for many years..
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    Vet Anvil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Starbuck View Post
    I have definitely been squatting with my knees out forward and not stacked...I'm taking your advice and keeping the article in mind when I start squatting again. I will also ditch the running shoes and board and search out a true flat soled squatting shoe. I will have un-learn what I have been doing wrong for many years..
    I think a few small changes will make a huge difference! Keep us posted!
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  7. #7  
    Gamma Radiation Affected
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    Once you are back at her, try learning box squats. They will help teach you to squat more hamstring/glute dominant. Like others said look for flat shoes. I love my titan shoes. Super pricey but they last forever. Going on 12 ish years fir me and the only thing going is the sole wear.

    one issue I would look into is why you are loading that part of your quad so much. Do your knees cave in when you squat? Are your ankles slightly caved in? Maybe look at orthopedic shoe inserts.
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    Hard As FU*K HULK!!! rhynoplanet's Avatar
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    I agree with Anvil, in that you probably need to change your form to better align where your knees sit when squatting. Think of sitting back instead of down. Also, get a good pair of lifting shoes or go flat heel like a converse chuck taylor. I use nike romaloes and love them but some find the heel too high. No need to get an actual squatting type knee sleeve, those are for equipped squatting. You can continue to use the neoprene sleeve for comfort. I don't see any point in using a sleeve that adds weight unless you are competing in the equipped division in powerlifting. Also, get some work done on your thigh, some ART, needling, shockwave etc. It does wonders to help previously torn muscles to break up the scar tissue and give you back the proper range of motion in the muscle.
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  9. #9  
    Raging Lunatic Starbuck's Avatar
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    If I recall the original reason I had my heels on the 5/8" board was to take some strain off my lower back injury and put more effort onto my quads and I just stuck with it. I really have no good reason for not using a good shoe for squatting.

    I’m feeling pretty good today, no discomfort throughout the day and at every opportunity I’ve been flexing the muscle hard, contracting the muscle without using any weight resistance.

    Since the injury, on my first leg day I did some very light stretching, exercise bike, calf stretches and a few sets of no weight ¾ squats. I was tender but no pain, but I could still feel something was not right.

    I was curious so I re-measured the heel height of the running shoe again with the 5/8” board - total height was at was actually 2 3/8” not the 1 5/8” I originally thought.

    I’ve ordered myself up a pair of Pendlay Do-Wins ¾” heel weight lifting shoe, they have a wider toe box that I need, as well some SBD knee sleeves.

    After Christmas I’m going to check out a local physio for some ART, needling, shockwave,,that was suggested by more than one person.

    I did look up the suggested Box Squat and I think I’m going to start off with those (empty bar). I’m going to build a box/bench that I can start off high for 4 weeks, then gradually lower to level or just below level over the following months.

    I will experiment on stance width too, I’ve read a wider stance is easier on the knees, I’m not a power lifter so I won’t go real wide. No heavy lifts, just learn new form first, good warm ups and lots of stretching.. Because I workout alone I’ll probably even do a video or two just to see my squat from a different point of view.

    I hoping with a new squat form, shoes, physio and some recovery time this old fart will be back to were I was this coming summer.

    These are good lessons for our younger members, years can go by without a clue that we’re doing damage and injury to our bodies only to see the problems show up later in life…like me.
    Last edited by Starbuck; 12-19-2017 at 04:39 PM. Reason: spellin
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  10. #10  
    Raging Lunatic Starbuck's Avatar
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    Quick Update

    Watched a lot of Youtube videos on squatting, to polish up my form.

    ....Took advise and went to Physiotherapy (needling, ultrasound, heat, stretching,,) received new Pendlay Do-Wins and SBD Knee Sleeves. Started squatting again only after a lengthy warm up and stretching..Started with empty Olympic bar to get used to new form (shoes & sleeves) for 4 set of 12 the ended with one set with 50lbs of plates...No problems, no pain...followed that up with 25lbs leg extensions and curls.... feels good.

    For the next few weeks I will not increase the weight, except I will work towards 5 sets of 12 reps with 50lbs of plates...which should get me to the end of Feb 2018....At that point I will TRY to ramp up the squat weight back up to 225 mid April to late April.. That would be 5 months from date of injury.. I'll be concentrating form mostly, I do not want to injure myself again, twice is way too much....
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