Fix Tendonitis and Knee Pain From Lifting Weights (In 30 Days or Less)

This article covers the root causes of knee pain when lifting weights, and a simple 3-Step strategy to fix it. You will learn how to fix knee tendonitis, quadriceps tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, knee instability and weakness, and stiff knees.

Continue below to read the article or watch the knee pain explainer video.

3d Illustration of a Man Feeling Knee Pain

Why Do I Get Knee Pain When Lifting Weights?


When you lift weights, the quadriceps and hip flexor muscles become stiff and tight after some time due to overuse. These tight muscles overstretch and inflame the quadriceps tendon, patellar tendon, and knee joint, leading to pain in the knee during exercises like squats, lunges, leg press, deadlift, and leg extensions.

The Fastest Way to Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

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If you experience knee pain while lifting weights, or pain in your knee after working out, you've come to the right place.

Knee tendonitis and knee pain is common among athletes and those involved in weight training. Weight lifters and gym-goers can experience knee pain during squats, lunges, leg press, deadlift, and leg extensions.

It’s something I struggled with for years (video below). It’s frustrating, painful, and demoralizing. I fixed my knee pain, and I will show you how to do the same.

This article will show you how to fix knee pain from lifting, even if you've had knee problems for years. Let's begin with what causes tendonitis and pain in the knee.

Nurudeen Tijani Posing Physique Abs and Chest
Written by: Nurudeen Tijani
Personal Trainer, Bodybuilder, Physique Athlete, Yoga Instructor, Wellness Coach

Nurudeen working out at gym with knee tendonitis and knee pain (2016). Using knee sleeves to reduce and manage knee pain while performing deadlift exercise.

Root Causes Of Knee Pain From Lifting Weights


What causes knee tendonitis and knee pain in athletes and weightlifters, and why does it happen? The ROOT causes of knee pain from lifting weight are:

  1. Chronic Inflammation
  2. Magnesium Deficiency
  3. Muscle Restriction
3D Illustration of man with burning knee pain, human musculoskeletal system with knotted muscles

Root Cause #1: Chronic Inflammation

Weight training builds and strengthens muscles, but it also inflames tendons, ligaments, and joints in the body. When the workout target or involve the knee, (e.g. squats, lunges, leg press, leg extension, deadlifts), it inflames the knee tendons and joint. Inflammation of the knee tendons causes a “burning” sensation of pain around the knee. The condition is a type of tendonitis known as quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis.

The burning feeling and pain around the knee are signs of acute inflammation – meaning the pain is temporary. With time, the body heals the knee tendons, and the pain goes away. However, when the knee tendons cannot heal and recover, and the inflamed tendon pain continues for three months or more, it becomes a chronic inflammatory condition.

Chronic inflammation is a state where the inflammatory process that enables the body to heal injured muscle, tendon, and ligament is not working, and the body is no longer able to heal on its own. In this case, it leads to chronic knee tendonitis. Left untreated, chronic inflammation in the knee becomes degenerative and leads to irreversible deterioration of the knee joint.

3d Illustration of a man feeling knee pain, holding onto knee with hand

Athletes, gymgoers, and weight lifters with knee pain experience pain and discomfort in the knee during: 

  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Leg Press
  • Leg Extensions
  • Deadlifts
  • Clean and Press
  • Power Snatch
  • Power Clean
  • Box Jumps
  • Speed Skater Jumps

Root Cause #2: Magnesium Deficiency

Calcium helps muscles contract. Magnesium helps muscles relax. When the body has excess calcium (which is often the case), muscles cannot relax and remain tense. When a muscle is tense, it pulls and puts tension on the tendons and joints, which inflames the tendons and causes pain, in this case – knee pain.

Magnesium also dissolves calcium and prevents the calcification of soft tissues. Calcification occurs when there is excess calcium in the body. Calcification hardens soft tissues like tendons and muscles. In this case, calcification of the quadriceps muscle and tendon leads to quadriceps tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, and knee pain.

According to The Magnesium Miracle (which is a scientific reference on the health effects of magnesium on the body), heavy exercise, physical activity, and factors such as caffeine, stimulants, diuretics, stress, and dehydration, deplete magnesium in athletes. As such, it is crucial for athletes and those involved in weight training to actively replenish magnesium in the body.

40% of magnesium in the body is found in the muscles. Twitching muscles, muscle cramps and muscle spasms are signs of low magnesium levels in the body.

The Magnesium Miracle - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

Root Cause #3: Muscle Restriction

Illustration of musculoskeletal pain and knotted muscle trigger points

When you lift weights and perform exercises that target or involve the knee, the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstring muscles contract, become stiff and tight, and after some time, lose their elasticity. Muscle restriction occurs when inelastic muscle fibers become shortened and unable to release and lengthen back to their normal relaxed state.

In the case of knee pain, lifting a weight that’s too heavy, or using bad weightlifting form overstretch the quadriceps muscle and causes them to become restricted. This is usually the trigger that initiates the knee pain. When the quadriceps muscle gets restricted, they become shortened and get tighter.

Tight quadriceps muscle pulls and puts tension on the quadriceps tendon. As a result, it inflames the knee and causes knee pain when lifting weight and during exercise. In some cases, restricted muscles also causes instability and weakness in the knee.

Athletes, gymgoers, and weight lifters with restricted quadriceps experience:

  • Sharp or severe pain in knee while lifting
  • Burning pain in knee joint after lifting
  • Instability and weakness in knee when lifting
  • Difficulty and pain bending knee after working out
  • Difficulty and pain straightening knee after working out
  • Clicking and popping of knee joint and patella while working out

Summary: Root Causes of Knee Pain From Lifting Weights

  1. Inflammatory tendon pain (caused by strain and inflammation of the quadriceps femoris tendon that attaches to the patella) 
  2. Magnesium deficiency (which causes muscle pain and tendon pain)
  3. Muscle pain (caused by stiff, tight, and restricted quadriceps, glutes, and hamstring muscles) 

The Fastest Way To Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

Get instant access to my BRAND NEW Titanium Physique program. The simple step-by-step solution I used to fix and cure my knee pain.

Nurudeen Tijani posing physique abs and chest with dumbbell in hand

Types of Knee Tendonitis and Knee Pain Conditions


This section of the article will discuss the types of knee tendonitis and related knee pain conditions. There are three types of Knee pain related conditions athletes experience when lifting weights or during exercise:

  1. Knee tendonitis (quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis)
  2. Clicking and popping of the kneecap (patella)
  3. Instability and weakness of the knee

Muscles anatomy of quadriceps muscles, quadriceps tendon, patellar ligament, hamstrings, and leg

Muscle anatomy chart of thigh and leg. The thigh is made of the quadriceps (rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedius) and hamstrings (semitendinosus, semimembranosus, biceps femoris). The muscles of the leg include the gastrocnemius, soleus, fibularis longus, and tibialis anterior. The thigh and leg muscles contribute to knee tendonitis, knee pain, and knee instability and weakness.

Quadriceps Tendonitis

Quadriceps tendonitis is a type of knee tendonitis where pain occurs at the top of the knee, above the patella. It’s also common to experience pain on the inside or outside part of the knee. To fix and get rid of it, we need to target and release all the four quad muscles: rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and vastus intermedius.

These four thigh muscles combine into one tendon (quadriceps tendons) that inserts into the patella. When the quad muscles and quadriceps tendon get restricted, it pulls on the kneecap and causes knee pain during squats, lunges, leg extension, deadlifts, and leg press. Releasing these muscles will also get rid of pain on the inside or outside part of the knee.

      Patellar Tendonitis

      Patellar tendonitis is a type of knee tendonitis where pain occurs below the kneecap. This pain is caused by strain and inflammation of the patellar ligament. The patellar ligament is a tissue that connects the kneecap to the shin bone. Patellar tendonitis is an extension of quadriceps tendonitis. By fixing quadriceps tendonitis, we also fix and get rid of patellar tendonitis.

          Clicking And Popping Of The Kneecap (Patella) and Knee Joint

          It common for athletes and weight lifters to experience clicking and popping of the kneecap and knee joint during leg extension and leg press. There are two causes for this.

          1. When the quadriceps muscle gets restricted, they pull on the quadriceps tendon and kneecap, which causes a “clicking and popping” sound in the kneecap during exercise. To fix and get rid of clicking and popping of kneecap, we need to target and release the quadriceps muscle.
          2. The thigh bone (femur) attaches to the leg bones (fibula and tibia) to form the knee joint. When the leg muscles (fibularis longus, gastrocnemius, and soleus) get restricted, they pull on the leg bones (fibula and tibia), which causes a "clicking and popping" sound in the knee joint during exercise. To fix and get rid of clicking and popping of knee joint, we need to target and release the leg muscles (fibularis longus, gastrocnemius, and soleus).

              Instability And Weakness In The Knee

              Instability and weakness in the knee is caused by restricted glutes, leg muscles (gastrocnemius, soleus, fibularis longus), and hamstring muscles. The quads are the power muscles of the thigh. The hamstrings are the stabilizing muscles of the thigh.

              The hamstrings, along with the leg muscles, help stabilize the knee. When the hamstrings and leg muscles become restricted, it causes instability and weakness in the knee. To fix and get rid of instability and weakness in the knee, we need to target and release the hamstrings and leg muscles.

                  The Fastest Way To Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

                  Get instant access to my BRAND NEW Titanium Physique program. The simple step-by-step solution I used to fix and cure my knee pain.

                  Nurudeen Tijani posing physique abs and chest with dumbbell in hand
                  A young man at gym performing tradition back squats with good form

                  A young man performing traditional back squats at gym. The traditional squat exercise involve the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, spinal erectors, and leg muscles. Traditional squats and other squat variations can aggravate quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis. Athletes and weight lifters might also experience instability and weakness in the knee during squats.

                  A fit man and woman performing dumbbell walking lunges at gym

                  A man and woman performing dumbbell walking lunges. The lunge exercise involve the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and leg muscles. Lunges, including walking lunges, standing lunges, or lateral lunges, can aggravate quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis. Athletes and weight lifters might also experience instability and weakness in the knee during lunges.

                  A muscular woman at gym performing leg press

                  A young woman performing leg press on a Leg Press machine. The leg press exercise involve the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, and leg muscles. Leg press can aggravate quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis. Athletes and weight lifters might also experience instability and weakness in the knee during leg press.

                  A muscular man at gym performing leg extension exercise

                  A man performing leg extensions on a Leg Extension machine. The leg extension exercise involve the quadriceps and leg muscles. Leg extensions can aggravate quadriceps tendonitis, patellar tendonitis, or "clicking and popping" of kneecap. Weightlifters might also experience instability and weakness in the knee during leg extensions.

                  A weightlifter at gym, wearing lifting gloves and performing deadlifts

                  A man performing traditional deadlifts. The traditional deadlift is a compound exercise that targets the major muscle groups in the body, including the shoulders, arms, back, glutes, thighs and leg. Deadlifts can aggravate quadriceps tendonitis and patellar tendonitis. Athletes and weightlifters might also experience instability and weakness in the knee during deadlifts.

                  The Fastest Way To Eliminate Weight Training Tendonitis.

                  Get instant access to my BRAND NEW Titanium Physique program. The simple step-by-step solution I used to fix and cure my knee pain.

                  Nurudeen Tijani posing physique abs and chest with dumbbell in hand

                  How To Fix and Permanently Cure Knee Pain (TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula)


                  What is the TitaniumPhysique 3-Step FormulaThe TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula is the fastest way to treat and fix chronic tendonitis and pain from lifting weights, including:

                  1. Sharp or severe pain in knee while lifting
                  2. Burning pain in knee after lifting
                  3. Instability and weakness in knee when lifting
                  4. Difficulty and pain bending knee after working out
                  5. Difficulty and pain straightening knee after working out
                  6. Clicking and popping of knee joint and kneecap while working out

                          It is based on current and extensive scientific research relating to the following: tendinopathy, sports medicine and sports injury, weight lifting injuries, musculoskeletal pain treatment and management, nutrition, supplementation, and, strength therapy and conditioning.

                          As an athlete and weightlifter, I created TitaniumPhysique for athletes and anyone who does weight training. I've combined these scientific studies and nine years of experience as a personal trainer, nutritionist, bodybuilder, physique athlete, and wellness coach to create the TitaniumPhysique Formula.

                          To learn how the TitaniumPhysique Formula works, and why it heals chronic weight training tendonitis, check out this helpful article (and video) about tendonitis treatment.

                          Here is an overview of how to fix knee tendonitis, using the TitaniumPhysique 3-Step Formula:

                          1. Reduce chronic inflammation in the body. When you reduce chronic inflammation, injured and inflamed knee tendons heal and recover faster.
                          2. Supplement with magnesium to replenish muscle magnesium levels. Magnesium reduces inflammation and pain. Magnesium can help relax tense quadriceps muscles, and it can decalcify the quadriceps tendons, patellar ligament, and knee joint.
                          3. Massage the thigh and glute muscles. You can use myofascial pain relief tools, like a massage ball, to massage and release the quadriceps muscles, hamstrings, and glutes.
                          TitaniumPhysique Formula can benefit anyone who does weight training

                          Step 1: Fix Chronic Inflammation to Get Better

                          The food you eat is critical in getting rid of inflammatory pain. It is either going to cause and aggravate inflammation in the body or fight pain and provide relief. According to The China Study Solution (the most comprehensive scientific study on nutrition), animal foods and animal food products aggravate inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.

                          Combined with the stress frequent and prolonged weight lifting creates on the tendons and joints, the body unavoidably gets into a chronic inflammatory state. This systemic cycle of inflammatory foods and physical fitness is the number #1 reason most athletes and gymgoers experience tendonitis after a few months of weight training.

                          Joint supplements cannot fix chronic inflammation from weight training because it is a systemic problemTo fix chronic knee tendonitis, you can use a simple two-week whole-food plant-based regimen to reset and eliminate chronic inflammation in the body.

                          The food you eat is more important than anything your doctor can give you to cure disease and pain. A plant-based diet can help eliminate joint pain and reverse chronic diseases like arthritis.

                          The China Study Solution: The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet.

                          Whole-food plant-based (WFPB) can help reduce inflammation and arthritis pain

                          Can a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Heal Knee Tendonitis?


                          Is a whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet right for you? Can a plant-based nutrition regimen help you eliminate chronic inflammatory knee pain? The following five questions can help you decide:

                          1. Do you lift weights or workout 4x or more a week?
                          2. Do you experience a dull pain or stiffness in your knee when lifting, or burning pain in your knee after lifting?
                          3. Do you experience concurrent tendonitis symptoms (e.g. knee pain, elbow pain, shoulder pain, wrist pain, foot or heel pain)?
                          4. If you experience tendonitis when lifting weights, has the pain lasted more than three months?
                          5. Does your nutrition consist of mostly protein from animal food and animal food products (e.g. chicken, meat, dairy, whey/casein protein)?

                          If you answered YES to any of the questions above, a WFPB regimen can help you reduce inflammation, heal tendonitis from weight training, and cure chronic knee pain. Implementing a whole- food plant-based regimen to reset chronic inflammation does not require becoming a vegetarian or vegan if that is not your goal. It is simply a tool to reset.

                          There is a specific way to use this strategy to get the fastest and best results, especially for athletes and weight lifter focused on building muscles, strength, losing weight and burning fat. The TitaniumPhysique Program provides a step-by-step plan to achieve this.

                          Magnesium Therapy


                          Magnesium is a potent anti-inflammatory that can help reduce pain. It also plays a vital role in helping the muscles relax. Twitching muscles, muscle cramps, and muscle spasms in the arm are signs of low magnesium levels in the body.

                          Heavy exercise, sauna therapy and workout stimulants deplete magnesium in athletes. As such, it is crucial for athletes and those involved in weight training to actively take steps to replenish magnesium and use the right kind of magnesium to get the therapeutic effect.

                          "Magnesium is the body's most important anti-inflammatory."

                          The Magnesium Miracle - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND

                          Magnesium therapy can help reduce pain and heal tendonitis

                          Can Magnesium Therapy Help Cure Chronic Knee Pain? 


                          Is magnesium therapy right for you? Can it help you cure and alleviate chronic knee discomfort? The following six questions can help you decide:

                          1. Do you lift weights or workout 4x or more a week? Is your job physically demanding?
                          2. Do you use workout stimulants: pre-workout, coffee, caffeine, diuretics?
                          3. Do you frequently use sauna?
                          4. Do you experience chronic stress (highly stressful job, stressful lifestyle factors and situations)?
                          5. Do you experience muscle cramps and muscle spasms after lifting or working out?
                          6. Do you eat a high protein diet? Does your nutrition include large amounts of added sugars?

                          If you answered YES to any of the questions above, magnesium therapy can help you reduce inflammation, heal tendonitis from weight training, and alleviate chronic pain. The TitaniumPhysique Program provides an easy-to-follow magnesium supplementation plan for athletes and weight lifters.

                          Step 2: Go Alkaline to Perform Better

                          Research show high protein foods and sports supplements create acidity in the body. When your body is alkaline, you will have more energy and less joint painGoing alkaline is simple. Anyone can take simple steps to become more alkaline and less acidic. Here are four simple ways to become more alkaline.

                          4 ways to alkaline to body to reduce inflammatory pain

                          Step 3: Release Restricted Muscles to Feel Better

                          Restricted quadriceps muscles pull and put tension on the quadriceps tendon, which causes knee pain. When you release tight muscles in the thigh and glutes (e.g. quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes), it will increase elasticity in the quadriceps tendon and immediately reduce knee pain.

                          Step 3 of the TitaniumPhysique Formula focuses on releasing chronically tight and restricted muscles in the thigh and glutes to stimulate repair and cure knee painChronic knee tendonitis cannot heal if the body is in a constant inflammatory state. After reducing chronic inflammation (Step 1), we can heal knee injuries easier and faster.

                          Photo collage of steps to fix knee pain, man wearing knee sleeves, human musculoskeletal anatomy of quadriceps, manual therapy tools, stretching quadriceps, strengthening knee

                          Exercises for Knee Tendonitis Treatment


                          Restricted quadriceps muscles, that cause knee pain, develop over many years. As such, it is necessary to use the correct treatment technique to get the best results. During this process, it is also vital to strengthen the knee, by doing mobility and strengthening exercises for the knee joint.

                          Strengthening exercises are therapeutic and can help the knee tendons heal faster and regain full strength for maximum performance. The following mobility exercises for knee pain target the stabilizing muscles of the knee joint and strengthen the knee tendons:

                          • Bosu Ball Squats Exercise
                          • Lateral Side-Steps Exercise
                          • Step Down Exercise
                          • One-Legged Squat Exercise
                          • Chair Squat Exercise

                                The TitaniumPhysique Program includes a knee pain treatment video (to release restricted quadriceps muscles) and knee strengthening/mobility exercise video (to stabilize the knee joint).

                                Self-Myofascial Release Tools: Massage Balls and Foam Rollers


                                Myofascial release tools, massage balls and foam roller to release trigger point pain

                                Massage balls and foam rollers can effectively release tight quadriceps muscles and fix knee tendonitis. If you experience knee discomfort when lifting weights: during squats, lunges, leg press, leg extensions, or deadlifts, these tools will help.

                                The Peanut Ball can target and release the muscles at the front of the thigh, while the foam roller targets the glutes and muscles at the outside of the thigh (vastus lateralis and tensor fasciae latae).

                                These myofascial pain relief tools treat knee pain and provide relief to the knee tendon and joint by releasing restricted quadriceps muscles.

                                Summary: Knee Pain When Lifting Weights


                                Restricted quadriceps muscles pull and put tension on the quadriceps tendons and patellar ligament. As a result, the quadriceps tendons become inflamed and cause pain while lifting weights or after working out. The ROOT causes of knee pain from lifting weights are chronic inflammation, magnesium deficiency, and muscle restriction.

                                Athletes and weight lifters with knee tendonitis experience the following when lifting or after working out:

                                1. Sharp or severe pain in knee while lifting
                                2. Burning pain in knee joint after lifting
                                3. Instability and weakness in knee when lifting
                                4. Difficulty and pain bending knee after working out
                                5. Difficulty and pain straightening knee after working out
                                6. Clicking and popping of knee joint and patella while working out

                                            Traditional remedies like painkillers, joint supplements, knee sleeves, knee braces, and topical anti-inflammatory creams can help with acute knee tendonitis but are not effective in treating chronic knee tendonitis. With traditional remedies, the tendonitis comes back and often gets worse as you continue to lift. To fix chronic knee tendonitis and knee pain:

                                            1. Reduce chronic inflammation
                                            2. Replenish muscle magnesium levels
                                            3. Release restricted muscles

                                            The TitaniumPhysique Formula is an innovative strategy for tendonitis treatment. The TitaniumPhysique program will show you the fastest way to reduce chronic inflammation, replenish muscle magnesium levels, and release restricted muscles. It can help you get rid of and prevent weight lifting knee injuries.

                                            Tendonitis can turn your passion for fitness into a chore and rob you of the motivation to work out. Yet, everyone who lifts weights experiences knee tendonitis at some point. You don't have to give up your passion for lifting because of ineffective traditional tendonitis remedies.

                                            Claim your passion and power back today with TitaniumPhysiqueGrab your copy of the TitaniumPhysique program by clicking the Learn More button below. For a limited time, you can use the code "blog10" at checkout to get extra $10 off.

                                            References

                                            • Understanding and Managing Chronic Inflammation
                                            https://www.healthline.com/health/chronic-inflammation

                                            • The Magnesium Miracle (Second Edition) - Discover the Missing Link to Total Health, By Carolyn Dean, MD, ND
                                            https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_Magnesium_Miracle_Second_Edition/2lBcDAAAQBAJ

                                            • Calcification
                                            https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/002321.htm

                                            • The China Study Solution - The Simple Way to Lose Weight and Reverse Illness, Using a Whole-Food, Plant-Based Diet
                                            https://www.google.com/books/edition/The_China_Study_Solution/nrazCwAAQBAJ

                                            • The Acid Alkaline Balance
                                            https://www.pccmarkets.com/sound-consumer/2009-10/sc0910-acid-alkaline/

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                                            The #1 tendonitis self-treatment solution for athletes. A complete all-in-one solution to treat, heal and fix weight training tendonitis. Created by athletes, for athletes.

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                                            Fix knee pain from lifting weights
                                            Fix knee pain during squats
                                            Fix knee pain during lunges
                                            Fix patellar tendonitis
                                            Fix quadriceps tendonitis
                                            Fix knee instability/weakness
                                            Fix kneecap clicking or popping
                                            Nurudeen Tijani, Author & Founder at TitaniumPhysique
                                            Written by: Nurudeen Tijani

                                            Nurudeen (aka T.J) has a passion for helping people build the body they desire through weight training. He is a physique and fitness trainer, nutritionist, yoga instructor, vegan natural bodybuilder, National Physique Committee (NPC) competitor, and founder at TitaniumPhysique. Nurudeen is a member of the International Association Study of Pain (IASP) and the American Chronic Pain Association (ACPA).

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