So let me back up for a moment and start from the beginning. I first noticed my right knee pain during our big lifts sessions of back squats. For those unfamiliar with this term, it is when someone places a barbell on their shoulders behind their head and squats. I was squatting in the 120's when I began to notice the pain. I tried widening my stance and that helped for a while, but shortly after the pain would come again. I was sure to always roll out my Quads and ITB (IT band) after every class and ice my knees as soon as I got home. After a while none of that was helping and I began to avoid squatting all together. Then one day we had to do some lunges in class and I found out rather quickly that motion was not agreeing with my right knee at all. Now I avoided lunges. Before I knew it, I was not running, jumping, squatting, or doing lunges. This was getting out of hand!
I was getting my knees checked regularly with my chiropractor and staying on top of stretching and using my foam roller. But I knew more needed to be done. After several post class chat sessions with Joon, and on occasion Tony, I learned an immense amount of things about mobility and it's importance. I was referred to look into a book, Becoming a Supple Leopard, by Dr. Kelly Starrett. Within days Aaron and I purchased the book and began reading up on everything we could. Taking everything in that Joon would tell me into daily use on top of what I would learn from the book and from Kelly Starrett's MobilityWOD site and his YouTube channel.
So back to the question, why can't I squat correctly? It's not my knees that stop me from doing it. It's the fact that I have limited ROM (range of motion) in my ankles and my hips aren't fully open. In other words, I have a lot of tight muscles throughout my legs and my flexibility is limited. Am I done for? No. I can regain control and flexibility with a lot of hard work and investing in time for mobility work. Will I? You bet your sweet a** I will. In time I will be able to squat correctly if I am willing to put forth the effort. I have begun to squat again with complete focus on proper technique and no knee pain.
I can not stress how important mobility is, and it's not limited to those who CrossFit. If you are an athlete of any kind, or an active person who swims, bikes, runs, etc, you should really be doing yourself and your body a favor and begin mobility training so that you don't run into similar or worse complications down the road. Be sure to check out Dr. Kelly Starrett's pages, and book. The unfortunate part of becoming adults is that we no longer move the way we did as children. Many of us lose the flexibility and movement we once had. But certainly with determination and focus, I will regain something back.
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