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Gengaeldelse 02-18-2013 04:10 PM

Patellar Tracking Disorder and Squats
I have Patellar Tracking Disorder in my right knee, and recently it's been acting up. I've been trying to make changes to my squat form to be more in line with what Rippetoe demonstrates in Starting Strength (my feet and knees were to narrow).

I was in physical therapy for the knee and the therapist said that I need to strengthen the leg and it would take car of the problem. I have be lifting since late October(StrongLifts) and the knee pain did go away, but now it's back.

I haven't lifted for the last week to give my knee some rest, but I'm going to try again tonight. I'm going to deload quite a bit, and ease back into it and see if that helps.

Any suggestions? If you need more info, I'll provide it.

BendtheBar 02-18-2013 04:19 PM

Strengthening the knee might help, but without good squat form you'll still face an anterior dominant squat. My best advice is to keep working on form, and post your videos here so we can give you squat tips. We have a lot of experienced squatters here who are able to see common mistakes.

Do you have any videos handy?

Also, did your therapist talk about strengthening the hamstrings, and/or if weak hamstrings were somehow contributing to this condition?

I am no expert on this condition, so excuse any ignorance I may have.

Gengaeldelse 02-18-2013 04:32 PM

Here's the last video I have.

tinyurl . com / auoce5s

You can see my right knee moving around because it was starting to hurt again. I know the form is still far from perfect. I'll try and get my fiance to record again tonight and see if I can get you a better video.

sorry about the funky link. it won't let me post a full url yet.

As far as hammy's, he didn't say anything specific. IIRC, he said my hip flexor was weak, which allowed my femur to rotate out, which messed up the alignment of the knee.

jdmalm123 02-18-2013 07:43 PM

Mostly good form, but you're knees cave in big time.... drive them outwards as you descend and ascend....they should not move side-to-side when squatting...

1morerep 02-18-2013 07:58 PM

I know what is the the five finger shoes!!! LoL!!! In a serious note, butt or lumbar area out & push the knees out on the way down.

Gengaeldelse 02-19-2013 06:15 AM

Well, the fiance has to leave for a funeral, so I can't get a better video. I've believe I've fixed the knee caving problem. That was a video of my first attempt at widening my stance so my knees were having trouble staying out due to flexibility issues and it hurting from the PTD.

And the shoes...I've seen many a video of Arnold lifting barefoot. If I had my own gym and wasn't worried about dropping something on my foot (which I have done) I'd be lifting barefoot.

jdmalm123 02-19-2013 09:01 AM

barefoot or flatter soled shoes is fine....if you have the ankle flexibility... try different heel heights to find the most comfortable can progress it back to floor depth if you end up needing more heel height at first.

Doing some strict goblet squats or super-light overhead squats to a slightly-deeper-than-usual depth as a warm-up/stretch will help you groove the nee discipline. The weight should not be distracting...just enough so you don't forget your spine position. I found one of those held at the bottom for 5-10 seconds at a time, while keeping good form, was a big help...

Gengaeldelse 02-20-2013 07:10 PM

Well, went to the gym today and did my squat routine with a working weight of 155 lbs (light by your standards). I wore my knee brace and my knee feels fine.

jdmalm123 02-20-2013 10:19 PM see if you can maintain that as you add weight back over time.

jslep 02-21-2013 08:56 AM


he said my hip flexor was weak, which allowed my femur to rotate out, which messed up the alignment of the knee.
OK there is some contradiction here so i thought i might try to address without coming across as an arogant know it all. So your therapist told you the above which would be true to a point. The hip flexors as a group assist in rotation only.


but you're knees cave in big time....
Now the knees caving in or pronation distortion is caused by stronger ad-ductor muscles than ab-ductor. Which means the muscles that hold or move the knee in are stronger than the muscles that hold or move it out.

You see the problem here is you say your problem is the femur rotating out and causing patella tracking to be off but when you do your squats the femur is acctually rotating in.

Now if you are able to force the knees out and maintain form during a squat thats awesome and keep rockin em with the appropriate weight. But if your pronation distortion cannot be cured you should not be doin squats until it can be. Although with the appropriate weight squats should be able to be performed by anyone.

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