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Kettlebell Single Kettlebell Squats and Knee pain

mvikred

Level 2 Valued Member
Hi Everyone

I've been facing a bit weird issue when it comes to single KB rack squats. Whenever I bring back single KB rack squats into my training, I experience some patellar pain in my knee. However, I regularly do goblet squats (comfortably with 32kg) and double front squats (regularly with double 20s and also with double 24s), but I never face any kind of pain. Because I experienced pain I reduced single KB rack squats from my training for quite some time - particularly with 28kg and higher KBs. I did a bit SA work yesterday with a clean, press, push press, jerk, squat sequence and, boom, the pain is back.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Thanks.
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Hi Everyone

I've been facing a bit weird issue when it comes to single KB rack squats. Whenever I bring back single KB rack squats into my training, I experience some patellar pain in my knee. However, I regularly do goblet squats (comfortably with 32kg) and double front squats (regularly with double 20s and also with double 24s), but I never face any kind of pain. Because I experienced pain I reduced single KB rack squats from my training for quite some time - particularly with 28kg and higher KBs. I did a bit SA work yesterday with a clean, press, push press, jerk, squat sequence and, boom, the pain is back.

Any suggestions on how to fix this?

Thanks.
Do a deep dive into all things knees and accumulating a 10 minute squat on YT with Kelly Starrett

Could start here. Helps with more than the creaky noise.

 
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Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
Video would be helpful but if forced to guess (and I am) then I would say you are shifting under the asymmetrical load.

Is there a consistent pattern?

Meaning if you are performing right side KB drills does the left knee hurt or vice versa or is it always one knee regardless of which side is loaded.
 

mvikred

Level 2 Valued Member
Video would be helpful but if forced to guess (and I am) then I would say you are shifting under the asymmetrical load.

Is there a consistent pattern?

Meaning if you are performing right side KB drills does the left knee hurt or vice versa or is it always one knee regardless of which side is loaded.
Thanks for checking in @Brett Jones. As far as I can tell, I dont see any asymmetries, but I am not a trained eye. I have recorded myself doing the rack squat on both sides.


Also to answer your question, it is mainly on the right knee when holding the kettlebell in the right rack.

I haven't recorded myself from the back to also check if there are any issues, maybe something I will try doing later in the day.
 

Brett Jones

StrongFirst Director of Education
Master Certified Instructor
Beast Tamer
You are correct—I don't really see a shift.

But it does appear on the right side squat you force the bottom position (going too deep with a shift forward, pelvis tucking). On the left it appears you don't squat quite as deep or you don't "force" the bottom position.

Judging by the red line of the video time—you squat "below the line" on the right but just to it on the left (in fact the first rep is above it).

Slow your squat down and don't try to "add" to the bottom of the squat and see if that helps.
 

mvikred

Level 2 Valued Member
You are correct—I don't really see a shift.

But it does appear on the right side squat you force the bottom position (going too deep with a shift forward, pelvis tucking). On the left it appears you don't squat quite as deep or you don't "force" the bottom position.

Judging by the red line of the video time—you squat "below the line" on the right but just to it on the left (in fact the first rep is above it).

Slow your squat down and don't try to "add" to the bottom of the squat and see if that helps.
Thank you ! Yes .. now that you mention it I see that on my right I might be losing tension at the bottom of the squat (or not but it is definitely deeper than my left). I also distinctly remember that when I sped up my squats, that knee pain comes back. So will try to keep those in mind and see if it helps !

PS - it was not a pain that stuck around. I was able to get back to my double front squats the next day without any pain, but I have not truly tested my single kb rack squat with long sets.
 

bluejeff

Level 6 Valued Member
I'm not entirely clear on how this affects things off the top of my head, but it appears as though you have a greater degree of extension through the torso with the bell in your left hand. When it's in the right, your chin is more "tucked" and your ribs stay "down." When you have it in the left, your head tilts back and your ribs seem to be flaring slightly up. Just an observation; it might not affect much.
 

Tarzan

Level 6 Valued Member
I cant dispute anything Brett wrote there, they were well educated observations, you do seem to be transitioning a bit too fast on the downward phase to the upward phase and there is a very slight buttwink happening at the bottom of the lift. Your avatar pic is showing an asymmetry at the bottom phase of the lift, which is something I've always fallen into as well. When I notice myself falling into similar patterns I lower the weight and try to spread the load more evenly between my feet. Even light 24kg goblet squats have good value in this respect.
I prefer to do 5-8 reps with good form to drill the form before I get serious and push the limits with lower rep heavier weights these days
 

Don Fairbanks

SFG II
Certified Instructor
Thank you ! Yes .. now that you mention it I see that on my right I might be losing tension at the bottom of the squat (or not but it is definitely deeper than my left). I also distinctly remember that when I sped up my squats, that knee pain comes back. So will try to keep those in mind and see if it helps !

PS - it was not a pain that stuck around. I was able to get back to my double front squats the next day without any pain, but I have not truly tested my single kb rack squat with long sets.
Yes, slow it down. Use strength to pull yourself down into the squat , instead of gravity , and take out the bounce. Pause at the bottom for a count or two, pressurize, then stand.
 
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mvikred

Level 2 Valued Member
I cant dispute anything Brett wrote there, they were well educated observations, you do seem to be transitioning a bit too fast on the downward phase to the upward phase and there is a very slight buttwink happening at the bottom of the lift. Your avatar pic is showing an asymmetry at the bottom phase of the lift, which is something I've always fallen into as well. When I notice myself falling into similar patterns I lower the weight and try to spread the load more evenly between my feet. Even light 24kg goblet squats have good value in this respect.
I prefer to do 5-8 reps with good form to drill the form before I get serious and push the limits with lower rep heavier weights these days
I didn’t notice the asymmetry in my avatar pic at all until you mentioned. Thanks for bringing it to my notice. Thanks for the suggestions. It’s time I try to fix this before increasing the load.
 

Steve Freides

Staff
Senior Certified Instructor
Elite Certified Instructor
I don't know if it will be helpful, but for another thread a month or three ago, I video'd myself doing 1-bell front squats. You'll see 6 squats, left then right and 24, 28 and 32 kg. When I'm doing these, I'm always trying to imagine my posture as if I had a matching weight in the other hand.



-S-
 

mvikred

Level 2 Valued Member
Thanks for the vid @Steve Freides !

I worked out yesterday and it was a grind based workout mixed with Goblet squats and Deadlifts. I converted that to single KB squats and single hand deadlifts. Followed the cues that I gathered from the thread and it was so much better. I did a slow and controlled concentric phase (going down) and an explosive eccentric. Also reduced the depth on my right side, tried to hit parallel to ground and a little below and then come back up. This definitely helped. I also created more tension in my body while going down and coming up. However, I did this workout with a 24kg and I would like to check this with a 28kg and a 32 kg before I can report back that there are no issues with the knees.
 
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