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Old 11-16-2007, 02:38 PM   #1
Scott Mahn
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What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

I've been trying to do O-lifting and strength training and the two are taking a toll on my knees. I think the heavier weights of the strength varieties are the greater culprit.

I want to stay with the power variations of the O-lifts, but then cut back on the heavier squats or deadlifts.

Which do you supposed would give me the greater chance of recovery by dropping?
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:34 PM   #2
Yong Tang
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

just sharing my personal experience here. I had mild knee pain not too long ago, and I tested which would affect me more, squats or dl's. Since I could dl significantly more than i could squat, the heavy weight took more of a toll on my knees than the squats did. However, that's just based on my specific situation. Scientifically, I'll be waiting to hear more responses on which is worse.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:09 PM   #3
Brandon Oto
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

You have an injury or a form problem. Neither one should be hurting your knees if you're otherwise a standard human.
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Old 11-16-2007, 04:32 PM   #4
Steven Low
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

With the right progressions I agree. If you went too big too fast.. just like with CF causing extreme DOMS (and rhabdo on occasion) then you're probably gonna have some trouble.

Oly lifts can mess up your knees pretty badly if you're not receiving the bar in the clean and squat correctly. For example, when you receive it at the bottom it's not supposed to be relaxed.. need to have tension with a bit of a bounce from stretch-reflex action not because you're bouncing out of the bottom.

With heavy stuff.. it's just mainly overuse type injuries that occur when working with heavy weights a lot. Especially if you've been lifting for 10+ years.

Could be really any or all of the above.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:25 PM   #5
Scott Mahn
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

I don't think it's form so much, I just don't have the greatest knees, even when I used to jog my knees were the first to go.

But I do think it's overuse related. For one thing I'm middle age, so the recovery isn't as fast. Then when you add the strength training to the oly lifting, I think I just over did it on my weak spots.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:55 PM   #6
Yong Tang
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

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Originally Posted by Steven Low View Post
With the right progressions I agree. If you went too big too fast.. just like with CF causing extreme DOMS (and rhabdo on occasion) then you're probably gonna have some trouble.

Oly lifts can mess up your knees pretty badly if you're not receiving the bar in the clean and squat correctly. For example, when you receive it at the bottom it's not supposed to be relaxed.. need to have tension with a bit of a bounce from stretch-reflex action not because you're bouncing out of the bottom.

With heavy stuff.. it's just mainly overuse type injuries that occur when working with heavy weights a lot. Especially if you've been lifting for 10+ years.

Could be really any or all of the above.
I was always curious about elite olympic lifters and the health of their joints. Is the general consensus is that they will have joint problems in the long run? I always watched them bounce in a deep squat recovering from a clean and it made me cringe, that now I focus a lot on my form when transitioning from the eccentric to concentric portion of the squat. What exactly happens if it's relaxed/bouncing? I see it as the tendons stretching, but any more info would be great.

Also, do you think someone can be lifting heavy and still have joints in great health at an old age? The thought of having debilitating joints in the future cause of lifting always crosses my mind so I'm trying to find info on how to prevent this. So far, all I could think of is lifting heavy in moderation and attention to form, while occasionally taking joint supplements. Thoughts?
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
Jason Tanner
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

Usually back squats does more work on your hips. But if your doing front squats more work will be on your knees. Just a interesting fact I think.
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Old 11-16-2007, 09:58 PM   #8
Jake Thompson
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

How many pistols can you do? The knees may be sore due to mechanical issues as stated above, hip or ankle motion that is not there relaying that default to the knees = Pain.

The tension (hip flexor, hamstring, glute, tibialis ant., and lumbar stabilizers) you need to perform this helps with correcting the ATA squat and poor movement patterns show up. Give them a try and report back?
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Old 11-16-2007, 10:10 PM   #9
Corey Duvall
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

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How many pistols can you do? The knees may be sore due to mechanical issues as stated above, hip or ankle motion that is not there relaying that default to the knees = Pain.

The tension (hip flexor, hamstring, glute, tibialis ant., and lumbar stabilizers) you need to perform this helps with correcting the ATA squat and poor movement patterns show up. Give them a try and report back?
I completely agree. In my personal and limited training experience, all joint pain due to training is due to improper technique. I've worked with Division 1 college athletes to 300 lb obece 40 year olds. All of their joint pain was due to improper technique. It is possible that joint wear and tear could be the problem, but that wear and tear is secondary to the abnormal movement patterns. Check the pistols technique and get back...
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Old 11-17-2007, 12:28 AM   #10
Steven Low
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Re: What's harder on the knees, squats or DLs?

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Originally Posted by Yong Tang View Post
I was always curious about elite olympic lifters and the health of their joints. Is the general consensus is that they will have joint problems in the long run? I always watched them bounce in a deep squat recovering from a clean and it made me cringe, that now I focus a lot on my form when transitioning from the eccentric to concentric portion of the squat. What exactly happens if it's relaxed/bouncing? I see it as the tendons stretching, but any more info would be great.

Also, do you think someone can be lifting heavy and still have joints in great health at an old age? The thought of having debilitating joints in the future cause of lifting always crosses my mind so I'm trying to find info on how to prevent this. So far, all I could think of is lifting heavy in moderation and attention to form, while occasionally taking joint supplements. Thoughts?
Suprisingly the oly lifters have the BEST knee health out of pretty much ALL athletes of any sport at least during competitiveness. I am not sure about afterwards although it's probably bad. I do know powerlifters and people that weightlifting generally have bad joints when they retire... but that's everyone else too. Basketball, football, gymnastics, etc. Pretty much just being at elite level takes a huge toll on you regardless of what sport you're doing so I don't think that's a fair comparison. You don't really hear about any knee injuries with most oly lifters, and I would think that would hold true for most amateurs like us as well assuming we have good technique.
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