I received a question from one of my subscribers who simply said that he has problems doing squats, wondering what should he do.
Since this is a pretty general question, the best I can do is to give a general answer. This type of problem differs from one individual to another, so I’ll try to cover a couple of ideas to help you solve it. Before anything, you should be cleared by your doctor or a physical therapist. Not only that, but a good physical therapist should be able to help with your individual case and give the best answer to your specific problem.
Having said that, the problem often lies in the way you squat. In case you are only focusing on one type of squat, like the back squat, it would be a good idea to try other variation such as the front squat with a narrow stance, in order to get rid of that knee pain. Keep in mind that popping sounds shouldn’t worry you, as long as there is no pain associated with it.
Some people simply cannot make squats work with a barbell, so we have to look at some other options. For instance, a kettlebell squat would be a good option for front squats.
If that doesn’t produce desired results, you can always go with various bodyweight squats. Check out a couple of squat variations below.
Essentially, you’ll want to play around with how you squat until you discover what works the best for you. If you still can’t make it work, focus on other exercises like the deadlift instead and let the time pass until your knees have healed. I can’t really know what would work the best for you, since I am not familiar with your specific case. What I do know is that working with different variations and forms until you find out how you can squat best will help you reach that specific type of squat which doesn’t produce any pain for you.
Make sure check out my Ultimate Guide to Bodyweight Squats and Pistols for more information on squats variations.