Why do my knees creak when I squat?

You may notice that when you’re squatting, jumping or lunging you hear your knees making a creaking, crunching, grinding, or cracking noise.

There are a number of reasons that your knee might be making noise.  The noise coming from your knees can be physiological (nothing concerning) or pathological (something is wrong).

Should you be worried?

Knee creaking (crepitus) is quite common in the normal healthy population and if it is not painful or effecting your function then it is not a reason to be concerned.  The noise is often caused by a build up of air within the joint fluid of your knee or by vibration of tendons and/or ligaments as you move through range.

 If you are pain free you can continue to train as normal!  It is also worthwhile to focus on your technique and/or get a qualified PT to observe and correct any technical flaws you may have while squatting or deadlifting.

There’s no evidence to suggest that any exercises will reduce the noise coming from your knees, however its important to continue to strengthen the muscles that act on the knee to protect your knees from wear and tear.

If your knees are making noise and it is accompanied with pain while you’re squatting, lunging etc. stop training and book a physio appointment.  Pain is not normal and whilst it may be minor now its best to tackle the cause of your pain before it starts to impact your strength and functional capacity.

If you don’t normally have creaking knees when squatting and have a history of knee injury it may also be worthwhile to book in for a review with your physio.


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