Knee Pain With Exercise (SURPRISING CAUSE and HOW TO FIX IT!)

What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. Let’s talk today about knee pain. If you’ve been lifting for any length of time,
likely you’ve had some sort of knee pain or might have knee pain in the future if you’re
not doing the right things. Guys, knee pain can debilitate your leg workouts.
I know. I’ve suffered from it, and I know what it can do to your legs when you’re trying
to squat and especially squat heavy. So, what I want to do today is first of all
cover a couple of the reasons what might be causing your knee pain because that’s going to be important to understand
the difference, and then show you one that I think is really common especially for guys
that train and lift weights. So, if we look here, we’ve got our boy Raymond,
and we’ve got our skeleton, so what you’ll see is that in the knee we’ve got a lot of
different sources of pain. Now you guys have probably heard about ACL
pain and MCL pain and LCL, right. Well we’re talking about tears really because those are ligaments that get injured
sports most often. The ACL and PCL are inside the knee. The LCL and MCL are going to be on the inside
and outside of the knee, and basically, that’s just one source of injury but we’ve also got
osteoarthritic changes that can happen where you actually get degenerative changes
on the bone, the bone on bone area, or on the underside of the patella here that grinds
up against the femur. We could talk about that in a second. We also
have meniscus issues. Guys talk about that. It’s the cushion between the two bones here,
the tibia and the femur, that gives us that space between the joint
that can wear down or tear. But I find that the most common injury that we get when we
train, our inflammatory conditions from overuse of
the patellar tendon. So, the patellar tendon, this is what you’re seeing right here,ok. And what it does is, it runs over the patella,
here it holds it in place, and you can get inflammation of this a lot of times causing
patellofemoral issues, we’ve heard that before, and it impacts the
tracking of the patella when your knee goes into flexion extension. So, as we flex the knee and extend the knee,
you want normal mechanics of the patella so you get this glide. And it glides right in this groove right here.
You can see that it’s supposed to glide right in this groove. But what will happen is, it starts to get
out of position. Well, guess what? This isn’t a knee issue. I’ve talked about this before,
this is not a knee issue. The knee is a train, and this is its track.
Here, and here. So guess what happens when the track gets twisted? The knee in the train goes flying off the
track. So, when you start looking and focusing all your efforts on the knee pain and trying
to, you know, cure the patellofemoral issues, or try to cure your patellar tendonitis, and
you’re not paying any attention to the track, you’re way off track. So, what you want to do is, you want to start
looking for the source and the cause of your knee pain because most often, 99 percent of
the time, the source of that is going to be somewhere
else. And when we look at this, it’s either going to be the track at the bottom, which
is going to be controlled by your ankle and foot, or, the track at the top which is going to
be caused by, or controlled by the muscles in your hip. So, if you look at what goes
on here, if you’re somebody that has flat feet, again,
one of my biggest issues, if you have flat feet, your foot will collapse down and in,
ok. There’s no arch so the arch comes down and
in. That takes the tibia here with it into internal rotation. Well, this stays here, this gets twisted in,
now you’ve got a twisted track. So, now if this thing tries to move on this twisted track, you can see, it’s off the track already. It’s
actually being pulled in, you can see. So, it’s off the track. That’s not going to move
smoothly as we do this. And with every rep of your squat with a flat
foot, that patella is banging up against the side of the track, guess what happens? Inflammation. You can get inflammation on
the underside of the patella. You can get inflammation up through the tendon. We have
issues though, ok. So, now, up at the hip, more common because
you could fix this. You could use an orthotic down here to try to boost up your arch so you can sort of fix the mechanics and reestablish
a straight track. But up here, guys, this is the big issue.
Most guys have weak underdeveloped hips. We’ve talked about that a lot, too. If your hip is underdeveloped and it can’t
control the internal or external rotation here of your femur, the same thing’s going
to happen. This could be all aligned, but if this gets
pulled down and in, you’ve got an issue. If this gets pulled out too much because of tightness
in through your hip, you’ve got an issue. But again, I find the biggest issue here is
glute medius weakness and that’s something that we can actually address too. So, I wanted to show you one of the ways that
you can address that and even test yourself and see. The easiest test, and I know it’s going to
sound embarrassing, especially coming from a strength coach, but lay on your side and
do the Jane Fonda leg raise up and down to the side. Do about 50 of them. Do 50 of them and let
me know in this video below if it burns like hell because I guarantee if you have weak
glute medius, you’re going to feel a real burn that might
feel pretty damn intense, and you might be squatting 350, 400 pounds, it might still
feel like it really burns. So, if that happens to you, you got to get
that stronger. So one of the ways that we do that is with a glute medius Hip Bump. And it’s really pretty simple. What you’re
trying to do is, you’re trying to allow your body to drop, right, in PT we call this Trendelenburg’s
Sign where you just drop down to the side, right. Because you’re letting go of the muscles over
here that keep you upright. So, here in order to get it back, we have to contract our glute
medius which is going to pull our pelvis back and
over to the side over here. So, what we’re doing is, we’re doing a closed chain hip abduction. We’re doing a hip abduction if we’re looking
at the right leg, and it’s just lifting our leg out to the side like that. If we were to try to do that in a closed chain
with our foot connected to the ground, this is what it would look like. I’m just going to let the leg go further away
from my midline as I raise my midline to the right. So, just after doing this a little bit, I
can really feel a burn in that left side glute medius. Maybe it’s not enough for you, all
you’ve got to do is attach a band. Get inside of it, in here. Put it around your
hips. Do the same thing. Get up on your left leg. If you’re trying to work the left hip,
you get up on the left leg, and you face the hip that you’re working inside
towards the source of the band, the point of attachment. You let yourself drop. Just get really lazy.
Let your hips drop. From here, you squeeze it straight over to the side. Let it drop. Squeeze your hips straight over
to the side. This is not an ankle move. This is not a knee move. This is a hip move. All your focus should
be right here. Let it drop. Squeeze your hip lateral, straight over to the side. Hold it for a second, and then come down.
I could already again feel this burning, and obviously working a weak area. We’ve had some top major league athletes that
had extremely weak hips. And you would be surprised because they were strong everywhere
else. This can cause knee pain. This can cause chronic
knee pain, inflammation and everything else that it is you’re feeling. So, just because it’s small and it seems like
kind of a girly exercise, it doesn’t mean that it’s not worthwhile, and something you
should do. So, guys, again, knee pain. The take home
messages here. There’s a lot of different kinds of knee pain. As a trainer, I see guys working out a lot
of times, they’re dealing with a lot of the chronic inflammatory conditions, mostly of
the tendons, patellar tendon namely. You can fix it, but you’ve got to look other
places. You can’t look right at the knee. You’ve got to look up and down. Down at your
ankle. Up at your hip. Find out what the cause is. If it persists
and you are training with much more than knee pain, it might be time guys that you have
to start looking into other solutions. We’ve created the ATHLEAN MECHAN-X Drug supplement
for that very reason. I realize how many guys train in pain. Every
time I put up one of these videos, there’s 50 other requests for shoulders, elbows, wrists,
and neck. People are dealing with pain. We can fix that,
but you’ve got to look in the right places. And if you have to, guys, you can take again,
find ATHLEANRX MECHAN-X over at ATHLEANRX.COM. In the meantime, if you found this helpful,
leave a thumb’s up below, and a comment. Again, I’ll make more of these videos as you
demand them, so just let me know what it is you want to see. Alright, guys, I’ll see you guys back here
again soon.

Joseph Wolf


  1. Omg this worked instantly I feel so free… I was in so much pain before the video now I feel free. Even my ankle stop hurting..

  2. I have tendonitis in both me patella tendons, confirmed by an mri scan, I have been going for shockwave therapy to help this but the results have been mixed, will the advice in this video still help alleviate the pain?

  3. I do believe I have weak hips/ glutes but possibly flat footed. Any recommendations on strength training for that remedy?

  4. Thank you so much for this video Jeff! It helped to eliminate the pain.

  5. Hey bro. Thanks for this information ur work is seriously very good . love from India .

  6. I think I have this exact problem with weak hip strength. Will you please tell me, are there more exercises that address this?

  7. I have had 3 injuries from running until I finally figured out my glutes were weak as piss,🤞keeping up my glute exercises it will keep injury’s at bay

  8. I love your videos – thanks so much. They are really helping.

    BTW – don't know exactly what you mean by "girly exercise" most my fit women friends are insanely strong and tough.

  9. After few doctors and physio consultations, I finally figure the cause of my knee pain lol

  10. I did 50 fonda leg raises on my left leg, I was pretty okay, tiny little burn. But, on my right leg , my calf kicked in and I couldn't do a lot. That's from cross country and the wrestling I do. I think cross country though.

  11. The other two things that can quickly take stress off your knee is to engage your core more through an exercise (no, seriously, a top UCSF sports surgeon mentioned this one), and second, make sure that your movement in a lunge or squat is that you're affecting a "sitting down" motion, and activating the posterior chain, by pushing through your heels. Both of those take immense stress away from the knee.

  12. I learned along time ago people in society these days predominantly sit down throughout the day. This causes pressure on your glutes and tightens your nerves. The knee is interconnecting with the glutes so most of the pain comes from the glutes but is felt In the knee. Buy a lacrosse ball or some tough foam roller and start to work out those knots.

  13. I'm 21 and I've been lifting close to 7 years now and I've never been hurt or close to it but I've been hitting legs hard lately and my knees are killing me.

  14. Love the information! But why camera always gives only half picture it's drives me crazy
    I can't never tell angle of feet and knees

  15. Just do the exercise in Bulletproof Your Knee – solves most knee problems and no more pain.

  16. I wished the camera person would of got a full shot of your exercise. Now I have to kinda guess what your doing.

  17. Son of a bitch. It took me a long time but I just realized I have weak ass hips. That explains my lower back sciatic pain I’ve been having the last 3 years. If only I could explain this to my gym crush and tell her I need to work my hips by smashing on the daily

  18. I started getting pain constant pain while playing soccer for the first time weekly. This immediately got rid of my pain. I will incorporate this exercise rutine in the gym and warm ups before playing.

  19. This is good stuff. I've been having progressing problems with my right knee having pain at the quad tendon above the kneecap, and most recently, when I raise my leg and activate that muscle with a bent knee, I'll even be stopped by sudden pain of something 'catching' above the kneecap in that area. I saw that kneecap gliding and going off track after 2:00 and that's exactly what it feels like. I have flat feet and likely weak Glut Med because of inactivity and working at a desk.

  20. Best closed chain exercise I have tried for the glute medius is one legged leg press. Did miracles for my knee pain.

  21. I went through 15 years of on and off knee pain and flair ups. Got a scope done a decade ago and it was useless. A second specialist basically said it was arthritis and there was not much I could do other than alleviate the knee with rest and blah blah blah. When your a working man and have to get to work to pay the bills and put food on the table giving my knee rest was not an option. So the knee swelling, pain, cracking and popping sounds continued year after year. So this is what has worked for me, I stopped sugar consuption drastically almost down to zero and stopped eating bread and food made with flour i guess I went 90%keto. So I lost weight and my knee issues have stopped. I haven't had a flair up in a year. Don't think it's coincidence that my knee got better very soon after I left the sugar and processed foods. So this change I made really worked for me.

  22. I could never squat. Just bodyweight alone makes my knees pop and crack and things are moving painfully. The more weight I squat with the louder and more painful the pop is. I got some resistance bands and wrapped that around the bottom of my knees. And I squatted no problem. Blew my mind. I just tried it cause I saw people squatting with bands on there knees. I can finally squat now.

  23. Hi all, I have an injury question.

    Recently, I get knee pain while runnin. It feels like it's behind my kneecap. My first thought was 'runner's knee', but I'm not 100% sure it is.

    When I finish my run the pain goes away, no swelling, no pain going up and down the stairs. If I sit on the sofa for long periods then stand up I get soreness that goes away once I walk.

    I went to gym today, done 30kg goblet squats, Romanian Deadlifts, bulgarian split squats etc. No pain. I did a mile on a curve treadmill and the soreness came on.

    I'm seeing another physio later this week, the one I saw last week told me he didn't have a clue what was wrong!

    Any ideas? Thank you. 🙂

  24. Outside of my knee and the back near the outside. I am JUST walking and it burns on the outside of my knee like it’s been cut with a razor blade and set on 🔥 fire. It sometime locks if I bend the knee it will not straighten. It likes to be straight and not bend. What can I do. Everything is for the patella and inside the knee but not the back of the knee or outside! So frustrating! Yes, I have had 10 X-rays and nothing but very mild arthritis. I have ALWAYS had this as a ballet dancer. This is new and red hot burning! HELP!

  25. My physical therapist sent me this video because she found out i wasnt doing the home exercise she gaved me

  26. Hi, I have gone thru a grade 3 medial meniscus tear and I have gone thru a surgery in June 2019. I want to start working out again, however my knee doesn't seem to be comfortable. please advise. awaiting your response

  27. I suffer from knee pain, lower side of just one of them (left). I make sure to perform my reps at high quality when I squat. Did the drial you suggested, 50+well executed reps and it was tough but not at all impossible. Am I doing something wrong on my squat? What would you suggest?

  28. I have a flat foot but I wear shoes while doing squats so flatfoot doesn't matter right?

  29. 4:50 “the easiest test and I know it’s gonna sound embarrassing coming from a straight coach is to lay on your side” what??? How can I trust a trainer who thinks sexuality is related to knee pain? Unsubscribed.

  30. It's the small things that matter. My elbow pain comes from a weak shoulder movement and my knee pain from weak hip movement. Follow the chain and find the solution, Thanks Jeff I was struggling with this even with it staring me in the face.

  31. Hello, I am a big fan of Jeff's videos. I have been watching them for about 6 or 7 years now. I am in the military and recently suffered an open tib fib fracture from a parachuting accident. My leg has been fitted with an I.M. rod. I have been having alot of knee pain in the front bottom of the knee and the inside of the knee lower more towards the tibia. I was wondering if jeff could do a video on the types of workouts related to this injury?

  32. I have flat feet and this explains my knee pain. I've been doing hit training every 6 days for about a month and now my knee pain is out of this world. I'll try to find some insoles that help gives me an arch

  33. Thanks for the video and solution tips. I couldn't have even guessed the problem could stem from the foot or hip until watching this – very helpful

  34. A program I know a lot of people would pay for is a identify the pain, and prescribe PT exercises for it.
    Granted, the liability waiver needs to be rock tight, but I think people would be prone to look into it if they can't afford an in-person PT

  35. After using this excersise for a few weeks my knees are cracking less and less.My hips also hold better alignment during lifting sessions.11 out of 10 for this video.

  36. I thought I was possibly going
    To have to stop weight training because of the pain I’m having in my knees. Now that you mention this about weak hips this makes perfect sense. I never thought of this. I have been so focused on my knees. Thank you for doing this video.

  37. I cant see it clearly as how to perform. Kindly suggest me something. I had knee surgery last year but pain comes back and forth. I got few injections in my knee from my doctor but it helps for a month and that's all. Please suggest some exercise. Thanks.

  38. what about clicking sound in my right knee? every time I try to stretch it straight I can feel it's not smooth. there's some abnormal movement inside. And often it's like "Ka!"……I think this is not only about flexibility or stability of hip or ankle. And people keep on talking about the balance between quadriceps and hamstrings, but I foam my quadriceps quite often and last time the pain happened right after I worked my hamstring……I don't run at all btw

  39. I'm 23 with hip and knee pain right now….. I have a pretty healthy diet maybe too high in carbs.. its very frustrating and debilitating… I'm blaiming it on stress and too high of a glycemic diet 🤷‍♂️ thank you for the video though

  40. OMG… thank you. I now understand my problem and have a clue of what to do next. Amazing.

  41. Just developed knee pain and the joint feels unstable. The pain is on the inside, running down towards my tibia. I’m a K1 instructor and obviously train myself, I don’t spar anymore and I’m a 50 year old lady. Any ideas please ?

  42. Years I have suffered in both knees. Doctors all ways give me anti-inflammatory. But 2 weeks doing this at 4 sets 20 reps no more pain. Thank you so much

  43. I feel off my bike and landed on both on my knees. this happen about 5 weaks ago. now my knew bothers me.

  44. I came here because of knee pain from leg extensions and lunges even though I've seen this video 5 years ago

  45. "When you're not paying attention to the track, you're way off track." – Jeff Cavaliere, Athlean-X.com.

  46. Never realized I had flat feet. Always assumed I didn't for some reason. Though my left is flatter than my right.

  47. what i cannot see if the leg is a little bit angled or straigth when you drop the hip ?

  48. i had operations for ACLT years ago ,is it harmful to my knees while i train my thighs with leg extension?

  49. I love how this guy goes to the “core” part of the issue … you really rock Jeff 👍 rock star of strength and conditioning 🤘🤘🤘

  50. Thanks Jeff… I now experience knee pain…. And also I have flat feet… So yeah… And I can't do squats without pain… So I guess I have to strengthen other areas too… Thanks once again

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