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Kalleia

Bodyweight squats - knees turn in

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Hi! I'm completely new to exercise and have been trying to do some bodyweight squats. My problem is that past the first few reps, my knees tend to turn inward while I'm squatting, and touch each other. I know that this isn't particularly good for them! I did some reading to try to find out why, and here are some things to note:

 

- If I stand straight, toes pointing forward, my knees turn in - one slightly, and the other very noticeably.

- I can W-sit very easily and it's my usual comfortable sitting position (I probably need to stop doing this :unsure:)

- I have anterior pelvic tilt and really tight hamstrings (I've found some stretches and strengthening exercises to do to try to fix this)

- I have a disability which causes low muscle tone

 

There are a few things I've considered to try to fix my squats - standing in a wider stance, pointing my toes further outward, and putting a resistance band above my knees to push outwards against. Am I doing the right thing? Do you think this will fix my problem? The long-term plan is to add weight to my squats and obviously I don't want to risk knee injuries.

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Take a stance where your toes point somewhat outward.  Up to 30 degrees or so.  And while squatting use your leg muscles to keep your knees pushed out - such that your knees track roughly in line with your shins and toes.  And yes, use a wider stance if that’s what it takes to acheive this.  If necessary, don’t squat low yet.  Squat to the depth that allows you to keep your knees tracking correctly.   As you continue squatting over the weeks and months, you’ll find that your flexibility and control during squats improve right along with your strength.  

 

You can also help speed up improved flexibility by spending a few minutes each day holding yourself in the bottom of the squat position, placing your hands palms-together between your legs and using your elbows to push your thighs out.

 

 

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The anterior pelvic tilt usually makes the hamstrings tight from the pre-stretch. More often than not it's the hip flexors that need work. 

 

You could also do narrow squats with the knees and feet flush together. The ankles usually become the limiter here.

 

This series is also pretty good. Kind of what Hazard was talking about.

 

 

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Thank you both, that's really helpful! You're right that I likely need to start much more slowly and not worry if my thighs aren't getting to parallel yet if everything else is right. I'll have to be patient and keep working on it. The video was really useful too - it's good to have another way to see how the knees ought to look.

 

For the anterior pelvic tilt I'm trying this quick routine: https://builtwithscience.com/anterior-pelvic-tilt/ which seems to be working well so far. Hopefully I'll see an effect on my hamstrings given time.

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It's also important to groove your body into  the right position at other times during the day.

 

When you stand, point your toes forward, plant your feet firmly in a ground, picture your legs  and feet like a tree planted strong and firm in the ground, see if you  can point your knees more forward. Try and do that several times a day. Do the same thing when you walk. Notice if your knees are caving in, and work on pointing them more outward.

 

Sit on the floor at at least a couple of times a day

 

Work on your resting squat position. Try and see how long you can sit in this position. Sometimes do it in front of a mirror, and actively work on making sure your knees aren't caving in.

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