Can Squats Cause Back or Knee Pain?

Karen McNew McGuire's picture
By Karen McNew McGuire on June 10, 2016

Fact Check: Squats are bad for my knees and back.

False.

I go through different workout phases. I run or I take spin classes, but I have never been able to get in the habit of incorporating regular strength training. It just never seems as much fun as cardio to me. But I am working hard to make it a consistent part of my routine because there are so many great benefits. It helps burn fat faster. Who doesn't want that? It increases your metabolism. Another great plus! And it helps keep your bones strong. A necessity for women, especially as we age. 

Recently I discovered a new way of getting my strength training in that is a little different and definitely a lot more fun–functional training. Functional training helps strengthen your core and all of your various other muscle groups through movements such as box jumps, squats using kettle bells or medicine balls, jumping rope, etc. Bottom line, I don’t have to be stuck wondering around the gym trying to figure out how to use the different weight machines, it is fun and something different for my workout routine.

But one thing I worry about are my joints. I already pound the pavement quite a bit during my runs, so will all of the extra squats and jumps hurt or help my knees and my back?   

In this Fact Check, Patrick Dunham, manager of Clinical Training at Carilion Wellness, helps me sort fact from fiction when it comes the myths about strength training.