AHHHH!!! The old adage "no pain no gain" does not apply here!!!! You should not experience pain when you are working out. Your pain is likely from 2-3 things.
- WRONG EXERCISE. The knee extension exercise is great for quadriceps strengthening, however it does apply the greatest force to the patella and is one of the biggest causes of patellar (i.e., knee cap) pain;
- POOR FORM. I would examine your form when performing squats for both knee position and low back position. Many people tend to hyperextend their back and end up using more of their back than their legs when squatting. As a result they end up injuring both. Look in a mirror at your side when you perform squats to ensure that you are not arching your back and that your knees do not excessively track over your toes.
- GENERALIZED WEAKNESS to your "core." Although most of us think that performing sit-ups is the only exercise to strengthen your core, you must remember that your "core" needs to be strong in all positions, not just lifting your trunk off of the floor. It needs to be active when you go down stairs, tie your shoes, lift your grocery bag, and when you perform your exercise program. At Corvallis Sport and Spine Physical Therapy we are trained to examine you and how you move. Remember, your pain in your knee may be the result of weakness somewhere else. Let us help you find it.