Ed F wrote:It sounds like most of those things would result in knee pain eventually from almost any physical activity. I stand by my claim that a normal person with no injuries and no biomechanical problems should be able to perform full squats with weight with no issues. I think squatting gets a bad name (along with deads) because there is so much potential to hurt yourself if your form is bad. Honestly, the few times I've done "sissy squats" (to 90 degrees), I've really felt it in my knees.
True. I don't really disagree. It's just hard to be definitive b/c everyone is different anatomically. In the OP's case, he's having some knee pain issues (albeit not from squats), so already that may change which loadings are beneficial / detrimental.
As to your point about knees hurting more when stopping at 90 degrees, I could see that happening too for a few reasons that I'd need to draw out to really make clear. But basically its possible the moment demand about the knee could be less in a deep squat than at 90 degrees.
There are all forms of leg squat/presses with varying techniques and freedom in movement. Squat w/ barbell are decent with freedom, but I think there are better. For instance, how about single leg squats while holding dumbells? This allows more opportunity for individuals to orientate themselves to ensure no one area is getting overly stressed.
If someone is concerned about knee issues, they should probably do leg exercises that allow them the most ability to redistribute load in a good way for them (and still with good form).
On the other end, hack squat machines might be the worst.