Longevity Exercise Physiology and Personal Training Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain and Bella Vista explore how to improve your squatting technique, focusing on how to stop your knees from caving in during this movement as it may be the cause of your knee and hip pain.


Knee caving (or knee valgus) is far more prominent in women as opposed to men due to having a larger ‘Q-Angle’ caused by wider hips. The Q-Angle is formed by the intersections of lines drawn from the Anterior Superior Illiac Spine (ASIS) to the centre of the patella, and a line from the centre of the patella to the tibial tubercle – in simple terms a line from your hip bone to your knee, and a line through the centre of the knee and top of tibia – with the angle formed between these lines measured.

Figure 1: https://www.physio-pedia.com/%27Q%27_Angle

The way we can oppose this is to activate and strengthen the external rotators of the hip. Here are some exercises to do prior and during exercise

  1. Banded Clam shell

2. Banded Frog Pumps

3. Glute dominant banded lunge

4. Banded tempo squat

Perform each for 3 sets of 8 to 10 repetitions. Focus on Tech-loading –> Technique before adding extra load!


When squatting, it is also important to externally screw your feet into the ground and think of the cue ‘knees out’, this will create more torque with the external hip rotators.



Don’t be afraid of knee valgus when squatting, often when we do something that is hard it is our body’s natural response to make it more efficient. When the hip is in a flexed position (bottom of a squat), the strongest extensor of the hip is actually the adductor magnus, which plays a major role in bringing the legs closer together. This is why it is common that your knees will come in during the up phase of a squat when it is very challenging.


The above exercises and breakdown should specifically apply to those experiencing knee pain when squatting and excessive knee valgus is evident, or there are current or previous knee pathologies.

Contact Longevity Personal Training and Exercise Physiology Edgecliff, Lindfield, Marrickville, Randwick, Drummoyne, Balmain, Bella Vista on 1300 964 002 to enquire today if you are facing knee pain or issues with squatting at the moment, our Exercise Physiologists are experts in prescribing exercise and helping you achieve your goals.


Written by Guy Beynon