๐Ÿ‘‰ The Spanish squat was designed to treat patella tendinopathy but can be used for all lower extremity rehabilitation.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The Spanish squat increases the tension within the lower extremities but does not increase the compressive force in the patella femoral joint.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The increase in tension in the patella tendon due to the quadriceps contraction produces an analgesic effect on the tendon.

The analgesic effect reduces the inhibition of the muscle that occurs when there is a lot of pain.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Seek the advice and treatment of a Physical Therapist if you have anterior knee pain

Spanish squat for anterior knee pain

How to perform the Spanish Squat

The Spanish Squat is used to generate strength in the lower extremities without โ€œover loadingโ€ the anterior knee structures.  The exercise involves placing a non-elastic strap behind the knees of the patient and tying the strap to an immovable object. The patient leans back against the strap and squats down to a knee flexion of 70-90 degrees.  Their knees do NOT translate towards their toes and their shin bone should remain perpendicular to their ankle. The patient should keep their torso upright and not lean forward. The squat should be โ€œheldโ€ at a level that is not extremely painful in the front of the knee.  The โ€œpainโ€ that the patient experiences should be due to the muscle fatigue in the thighs and buttocks. 

๐Ÿ‘‰The eventual goal is to perform 45 second holds 5x several times per day.  There should be a reasonable amount of rest between squat/holds and can be as long as 2 minutes.


Rudavsky, Cook. Physiotherapy management of patellar tendinopathy (jumper’s knee). J Physiother. 2014 Sep;60(3):122-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jphys.2014.06.022. Epub 2014 Aug 3.


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