Originally Posted by loboskis
Ask your ortho to demonstrate a "squat". I'll but it's incorrect.
Bad squats =bad for your knees
Good squats=Good for your knees
Also squats are a posterior chain exercise not "quad "movement.
If your feeling it only in your quads your knees are probably to far forward(bad).
Or your not going past parallel (also bad)
If your knee is swollen ,relax and let things heal before jumping into things.
What lobloskis said. Many doctors make this claim but they also tend to have little to no knowledge about exercise physiology.
A squat is not entirely posterior chain though - there is definitely a quad element to it, but a properly executed squat is a balance of anterior and posterior chain.
One way to make sure you are doing a squat properly is to squat to a box - don't sit on the box, just touch down to it. This forces you to squat back as opposed to squatting forward.
I'd also watch the knee alignment when squatting - if you're knees are collapsing in or falling out, that's not good for them.
One other trick with squats is to "grip the floor" with your feet - toes and heels - while squatting, and to focus on "spreading the floor" with your feet. This helps to engage your glutes which will help correct both knees collapsing in and help put you "in the backseat" when you squat.
Another thought is that if you're having trouble with your knee from squats, that you may have poor overall core stability. Have you heard of the Turkish getup? It's a full body exercise vs a leg exercise - mostly core, but if done properly, it really works all of the core stabilizers. I would suggest doing a few of these before working back into squats to make sure your body is prepared to squat. www.tmuscle.com/free_online_article/sports_body_training_performance/the_best_exercise_youre_not_doing
Another great leg option is sled pulls and pushes.