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  1. #1
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Unhappy ATG Squats and clicking/cracking knee sound... how to fix it?

    I decided to try a different way to do my squats, as a powerlifter I've got to go way below parallel, especially when it comes to do snatch and squat clean. A few of my mates warned me they are very bad for the knees but I didn't care. I have a meet in July and seriously want to do well.

    I started doing the ATGs in mid february and really improved my pb on those (now squatting 80 kg for 5 reps, with great form, which is quite awesome within a month and a half for me).
    However, one day, I went to the gym, didn't have my earphones on me and started squatting as low as I could and noticed my knees were cracking. I'm so glad I didn't have the earphones on, I wouldn't have ever noticed! The noise is cringing, I
    swear I'm so embarassed by it. I usually don't care what people around me think or say but that noise of clicking bone is so uneasy, it really ruin my motivation and I'm sure other peeps feel for my joints, lol.

    I eat salmon and cod twice a week, take fish oil and flaxeed everyday, glucosamine twice a day.
    I'm now really worried to squat heavier than I am as I fear to damage my knees much more and the noise really is embarassing. It's okay when the music in the free weights area is quite loud but when is quieter, you can hear that cringing noise. Never had this prob when I used to do normal squats

    Do you think my mates were right about the ATGs or I'm not using the proper form? Do I need to increase my intake of glucosamine and fish oil, eat fish more etc?
    Or just stop ATG squatting (though really don't want to). I heard Knee extension (KTE or something like that) are quite good -- shall I do those before my squats? (my knees are also starting to hurt a bit when I sit back, very low with the weights on my shoulders)...

    Arthritis??

    Thanks in advance for the advices.
    Last edited by Blazegal; 04-12-2010 at 05:37 PM.
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  2. #2
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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    Your mates are wrong. Unless you have a medical issue atg will NOT screw up your knees. Popping and cracking without pain is scary but not a problem. Make sure you warm up properly.

    Read too quickly and just saw the knee pain at higher weights. Get some wraps to use before to get to those higher weights. You might also want to increase the max weight at a slower pace.
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  3. #3
    Bulking freebirdmac's Avatar
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  4. #4
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Smile

    Thanks Freebirdmac! I really appreciate it.

    At least there is still some hope!
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  5. #5
    Mustang Sally Euqinom's Avatar
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    A research by Charles Poliquin actually suggest that Full squats PREVENT knee and hamstring injuries.

    the bad for your knees-myth comes from a thesis written by a guy thrown out of college for falsifying his research.
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  6. #6
    Texan Canuk Linds33's Avatar
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    Rehbands, all the way!

    I have knee problems from years of dancing and other fun stuff as a kid so i hear the cracks and creeks when i get up from sitting on the floor .

    But i do ATG squats (both front squats and regular) and i ALWAYS wear my Rehbands when i do so. I find that they both help my knees and help my form.

    http://sport.rehband.com/Products.aspx?m=3528

    And ATG squats are fine, in fact, studies have shown that you put more stress on your knees by going to parallel.
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  7. #7
    Registered User justass's Avatar
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    I agree with freebirdmac and equinom but will add the following:

    If you are already experiencing pain at heavier weights then you should go to the ortho and have a check up to make sure your meniscus are intact and that you don't have significant damage to the under side of your kneecap. Any squat does put a great deal of stress on the internal structures of your knees (atg, sumo, even bodyweight), however, if you catch a small meniscal tear or defect early enough you may be able to add in some auxilliary lifts that will help stave off further problems for a while.

    Also, are the cracking/clicking noises coming from inside the joint or from under the kneecap? If the former you may already have loose cartilage in the joint (usually a piece of torn meniscus) that may eventually lead to locking problems if not removed. If the sound is coming from under your kneecap you likely have articular cartilage damage and would be better served using a patellar taping pattern rather than knee wraps when you lift.

    In either case, once the noises start they rarely go away.

    Good luck at your meet.
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  8. #8
    Registered User justass's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Linds33 View Post

    And ATG squats are fine, in fact, studies have shown that you put more stress on your knees by going to parallel.
    Unless you already have a structural defect. After 5 surgeries I still squat 315 to parallel with no issue, but I can't squat ATG to look into the bottom of the refrigerator.

    And the rehbands might work for training sessions, but she will most likely not be allowed to use them at the meet, so it may not be a good idea to get used to them.
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  9. #9
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Thanks for your replies guys

    Justass, the sound is coming from under the kneecap so I'll try that patellar taping you suggested. Is there any brand you'd recommend?
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  10. #10
    Texan Canuk Linds33's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by justass View Post
    I agree with freebirdmac and equinom but will add the following:

    If you are already experiencing pain at heavier weights then you should go to the ortho and have a check up to make sure your meniscus are intact and that you don't have significant damage to the under side of your kneecap. Any squat does put a great deal of stress on the internal structures of your knees (atg, sumo, even bodyweight), however, if you catch a small meniscal tear or defect early enough you may be able to add in some auxilliary lifts that will help stave off further problems for a while.

    Also, are the cracking/clicking noises coming from inside the joint or from under the kneecap? If the former you may already have loose cartilage in the joint (usually a piece of torn meniscus) that may eventually lead to locking problems if not removed. If the sound is coming from under your kneecap you likely have articular cartilage damage and would be better served using a patellar taping pattern rather than knee wraps when you lift.

    In either case, once the noises start they rarely go away.

    Good luck at your meet.
    Patellar taping? Is that using something like kinesio tape?

    I guess everyone's bodies are different when it comes to workouts too. I have even heard pros advising people not to squat because their bodies weren't "made" for it.

    As for the rehbands, i know that they allow it in olly lifting but i am not too sure about powerlifting...i guess it depends on the contest and what they allow?
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  11. #11
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Yep, I think I might not be allowed to use the wraps during the competition. I'll have to double check on that. I'll use the wraps for training.Thanks Lindss for suggesting Rehbands. I'll check them out.

    Will look into taping my patela too. I've googled it and the methods look quite promising.

    Thanks guys again for your help
    Last edited by Blazegal; 04-13-2010 at 03:50 PM.
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  12. #12
    Mustang Sally Euqinom's Avatar
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    HEy, you say you're a powerlifter, but you do snatch and clean? Nice!
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  13. #13
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    Originally Posted by Linds33 View Post
    Patellar taping? Is that using something like kinesio tape?

    I guess everyone's bodies are different when it comes to workouts too. I have even heard pros advising people not to squat because their bodies weren't "made" for it.

    As for the rehbands, i know that they allow it in olly lifting but i am not too sure about powerlifting...i guess it depends on the contest and what they allow?
    Not kineseotape, just regular athletic tape.

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  14. #14
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Euqinom View Post
    HEy, you say you're a powerlifter, but you do snatch and clean? Nice!

    I like training in both olympic and powerlifting exercises. It's very good for my power and strenght training. In the future I'd also like to take part in competitions in olympic lifting.
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  15. #15
    Registered User Blazegal's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by justass View Post
    Not kineseotape, just regular athletic tape.


    Hey thanks Justass!! You're my savior!
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