Shrugged Collective

Ask Dr. T: Knee Pain While During Front Squats?

“Dr. T,

Front squats kill my knees. I am a fairly strong athlete, but there has to be something wrong with my form and I do not know what to do.

I know what I am supposed to be doing when I squat. I shoot my hips back, drive my knees out, and then squat. All of that looks like it is in the right place to me.

The thing I notice in videos is that my butt seems to be shooting way too far back. There is a massive c-curve in my back and when I see other people squat it looks like they are more vertical.

My coach is always cueing me, “chest up,” which is exactly what I do. When I complain about the knee pain, all they give me is more foam rolling and lacrosse balls. I think I have lacrosse balled everything in my body and the knee is still on fire.

Any tips to help solve this knee pain?

— Cooper (Utica, NY)


I wish there was another place on the human body we could stick lacrosse balls, but I think the internet has reached its limit. Yet, people are still in pain and there are no answers for it.

The first thing you need to focus on is stabilizing your low spine. This is going to be done through better breathing. By sticking your butt back, you overextend your low spine and disengage your abs.

The vertical torso that you mentioned is a result of proper ab engagement. It is created by proper breathing to bring the ribs down and stabilize the low spine.

Properly organizing the core through the breath will allow the knees to properly track over the toes and transfer the weight from the knee to the much stronger hip joint.


The Knee Fix morning routine incorporates proper breathing, mobility, and movements specific to eliminating knee pain. We want you to front squat and be strong but do it pain free.

To start this process, we have created a simple, six-minute morning routine to help you eliminate your knee pain. To gain instant access to your free morning routine, click the link below.

Thanks for reading!


Anders Varner

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