Week 4: Shallow Squats & Calf Raises

It's the perfect time to start some more challenging bodyweight movements to improve your strength and movement skill.


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Week Four checkpoint

There are no changes to the daily routine for week four. And there are two new exercises to include in this weeks workouts: shallow squats, and calf raises.

Tasks for this week

The daily routine is still to be done every day:

  • Foam rolling, 10 rolls each position
  • The Crouching Three stretches, 30 seconds per position each leg
  • Glute activation routine

The workout needs to be done three times per week, with at least 48 hours rest between each one. It contains:

  • Knee isometrics, four sets of 30 seconds each leg
  • Glute bridges, three sets. See workbook for reps
  • Shallow squats, three sets. See workbook for reps
  • Calf raises, three sets. See workbook for reps

Remember to keep logging your pain levels before and after the days program.

For some people their knees are not quite ready for squatting by week four and you may find it increases the pain number. If this is the case we suggest repeating week three to give the knees more time to settle and muscles time to strengthen. You can try the squats again in seven days time.

Shallow squats & calf raises

Congratulations on making it to Week Four.

By this stage of the program, your knee pain should be consistently low and more predictable with less bad days and hopefully no more sharp moments of pain. Now is the perfect time to start some more challenging bodyweight movements to improve your strength and movement skill.

If your knee pain is still variable, or still higher than 4/10 consistently, refer to the knowledge base and consider repeating week three again.

Let’s get started!

Exercise: Shallow Squats

Squatting is one of the most important strength movements for helping you beat Osgood Schlatter’s. Start shallow and focus on great technique with a smooth pattern

Most athletes with sore knees are a bit hesitant to do squats, however, they are one of the best things you can do for a lifetime of healthy, happy knees if you do them correctly.

The major problem is that almost everyone does them wrong, too deep, too wide, too knee dominant, caving in at the knees, bent and twisted spines. It can be a mess.

Learning to squat properly has a huge payoff. It will help strengthen your glutes, quads, and core and most crucially, a glute dominant squat pattern will translate to improved jumping and landing technique.

Shallow squat instructional video

This short video below explains how to perform the squats. You may not get as low as James does in the example.

Exercise: Calf Raises

Strong calves aid athletes by absorbing forces and making running easier. As a bonus they will make you less susceptible to severs, one of the other growing diseases.

If you want to run faster, jump higher or just be a better all-round athlete, calf raises are one of the simplest ways to get started, and the all you need is land and gravity!

When we jump and sprint, your calf and ankle is both the first the last part of the kinetic chain to push into the ground and propel you into the air or absorb energy when we land, so making them stronger is not only going to improve your load absorption but also make you more athletic.

Make sure when doing calf raises to not bounce at either the top or bottom or the rep and focus on pushing up as high as you can. Always focus on pushing through the big toe and ball of your foot.

Calf raises instructional video

The video below shows instructions for how to perform the calf raises.

Closing Week Four

Be sure to take it easy on your squats to begin with, even a tiny range of motion to begin with is a great start. You will find the sets and reps for both the squats and calf raises in this weeks page of the workbook.

Up next

After successfully completing a full week of your daily routine and new workouts, it is time to progress!

Go to Week Five here →