Knee Pain when You Lunge

Here are some answers on knee pain when you lunge, plus checking in with a few answers from EFI readers.

Over the week, I received a bunch of questions from readers and I want to take some time to answer them.  I can’t answer them all but I will do my best to get back to everyone.  If you don’t hear back from me after a few days, just send me a reminder email.

Knee Pain When You Lunge


I purchased your muscle imbalances revealed package on the weekend and I
just wanted to say I love it so far!! Extremely informative.

Just one question. I have a client right now whose left knee is really
bothering her. It makes cracking noises every time she flexes her knee. She
is alright for hip flexion exercises like squats but for lunges she cannot
perform anymore because of her knee.

I just watched the Maximizing Strength and Stability of the Knee and I am
curious if those exercises will work for her condition.

The doctor gave her exercises like the Bulgarian lunge on the bench but
that is putting too much pressure on her knee. I do not agree with that
exercise choice and I was wondering if you could help me.

My client is overweight so I’m thinking there is too much pressure on her
knee joints but how do I get around this? I have her do squats on the Bosu
ball and leg extensions on the TRX, to really focus on her knees to make
them stronger but are there other exercises that I could be doing?

Thank you for your time!



I am so glad that Muscle Imbalances Revealed has been such a benefit to you.  It is a bit of a labour of love.  Glad it is helping you out.

Yes,  a lot of the exercises in the knee component will help out.  Many of the exercises are in my Knee Injury Solution program.  There are all kinds of levels of exericses plus videos and descriptions of the exercise in Knee Injury Solution.

Here are some videos that I have done that may help you.  You can see more on the YouTube channel.

Video #1

Video #2

Video #3

 The Bulgarian Squat is a good exercise but I would call it an advanced exercise that the average person cannot do.  It puts a lot of  load on one leg.  Often times the weakest point in the leg will give way and with most clients it will be their knees.  With the client being overweight, this makes the situation even worse.

I am a big fan of regressions.  The more you can modifiy an exercise, the happier the client will be.  The more regression exercises you have the more you can change things up to challenge them, keep them guessing, doing new things and keeping them pain free.

One quick thing you can do for knee pain when lunging is decrease the distance between the feet with the lunge and also move the trunk in a forward position.  This decreases the range of motion of the lunge which make the knees happy plus the forward trunk activates the gluteus maximus more which decreases the stress on the knee extensors.

When it comes to other exercises, try the modified lunge that I talked about above.  You can also try bilateral ball squats against the wall or unilateral ball squats.  This decreases the stress on the knees.  You can also try lunging onto a risor or a back lunge.

Let me know how this goes.

If you have something else to add, just leave a comment in the comment box below.

Here are details on my Knee Injury Solution program:

Thanks for the question, SB

Minimalist Shoes for Day to Day Use

Hi Rick,

Great article on minimalist shoes. I’ve seen them around but had no information as to their benefits. I just simply thought it was another fad shoe.

On that note, I was wondering if minimalist vs traditional shoes are good walking or work shoes (for nurses and/or massage therapists who work on their feet often).

Your insight is appreciated,


I headed off to ask Curb, and this was his reply.

Take it away Curb:

I’d look at a couple of things for shoes that you use for standing in for long periods of time:

  1. Wide toe-box.
  2. A lower heel drop than regular shoes; you don’t need zero-drop (level heel and forefoot) though you can certainly try this but 4-8 mm is fine.
  3. I would add a bit of cushioning and not go with a completely cushion-free sole.

Hope that helps!

Curb Ivanic, MS, CSCS

Thank you CI and Curb.

Tips for New Grads

When the spring comes, I always get asked about tips for new grads.  I will be doing an interview in the future about this.  I just got in touch with an old colleague of mine and he has agreed to do an interview on tips for those going through a human movement or exercise science degree.  Watch for it.

Exercises After Hysterectomy

Hi Rick,

Do you have anything for clients returning to exercise after abdominal

Best regards,


I do not have anything for that specific condition.

I often times start people off with the exercises in Core Stability of the Back ebook. You can check it out here.

Make sure the person has medical clearance to start an exercise program and the medical team supervising has provided you with exercise guidelines.

Heads Up – Live Courses and Internship

I am working on a bunch of live presentations and an internship.  I will have more details on them soon.

I will put them up here.

That is it for this week.

Have  a great weekend and stay injury free.

Rick Kaselj, MS