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How to Fix Your Knees From Your Overhead Squat Assessment

Welcome back to our overhead squat assessment breakdown. If you haven’t read the first post about corrective exercise find it here: https://www.ffcfonddulac.com/post/muscle-imbalances-how-to-move-better


Hopefully you have read it, you’ve got a few classy videos of yourself doing a squat, and we can move on to step one. Your knees.


Take a look at the front view of your squat and check out your knees. They should be moving in line with your feet, your hips, and your back. They SHOULD NOT collapse inward, or push outward. If you see either of these even a little bit, LET’S FIX THEM!


Your knees are designed like a hinge. Yes, like a door hinge. Door hinges open and close on a pretty strict path. You can either push a door open, or pull it shut. You CAN NOT push a door UPWARD or pull a door DOWNWARD. It won’t move in that direction, and if it does move that way, you’re wrecking the hinge, maybe the door frame, whatever. Something is BROKEN. Your knees are the same way. They are designed to extend and flex, NOT ROTATE. If your knees collapse in or push outward they are actually rotating, which puts pressure on your knee that it’s not designed to take. If you chronically squat with your knees in or out you will wear down your knee joint which will lead to discomfort first, and arthritis later.


So what do you do?


Corrective exercise is just a series of easy stretches and exercises. If you recall from our previous post, your muscles are rubber bands, and if something is moving the wrong way it means one set of rubber bands are too tight and the other are too loose. So take a look at your squat and if your knees move at all find the correct program for you down below.


IF YOUR KNEES COLLAPSE IN:


You will need to STRETCH: Your hip adductors (inner thigh), hamstrings (back of thigh), and Tensor Fasciae Latae aka TFL (the front outside of your hip). For demonstrations of stretches for these muscle groups check out the video. Writing a description of a stretch is admittedly not the preferred way to go. Just remember that my list is not an all encompassing list. If you have a go to stretch for that spot, go right ahead. When you are stretching remember that more is better. The longer and more often you stretch the more benefit you will get from those stretches. I recommend holding a stretch for 30-60 seconds and doing them at least 3 times a day.


You will need to STRENGTHEN: Your hip abductors (outside hip). There’s a billion and one great exercises for your abductors. Unfortunately most will require a cable or at least an ankle resistance band. Good news is, they are a dime a dozen, plus we have a whole bunch at the gym. Check out the video for my go to hip abduction exercise. When strengthening remember resistance is more important than frequency. It doesn’t matter if you do 100 reps a day if you’re lifting nothing but air. I recommend 3 sets of 10 every day at a resistance where the last few are very CHALLENGING. If everyday ends up being too much for you to start, work your way up to it. At least every other day.


IF YOUR KNEES PUSH OUTWARD:


You will need to STRETCH: Piriformis (a small muscle in your glute), Tensor Fasciae Latae aka TFL (the front outside of your hip), your hip abductors, and hamstrings. For demonstrations of stretches for these muscle groups check out the video. Writing a description of a stretch is admittedly not the preferred way to go. Just remember that my list is not an all encompassing list. If you have a go to stretch for that spot, go right ahead. When you are stretching remember that more is better. The longer and more often you stretch the more benefit you will get from those stretches. I recommend holding a stretch for 30-60 seconds and doing them at least 3 times a day.


You will need to STRENGTHEN: Your hip adductors (inner thigh). There’s a billion and one great exercises for your adductors. Unfortunately most will require a cable or at least an ankle resistance band. Good news is, they are a dime a dozen, plus we have a whole bunch at the gym. Check out the video for my go to hip adduction exercise. When strengthening remember resistance is more important than frequency. It doesn’t matter if you do 100 reps a day if you’re lifting nothing but air. I recommend 3 sets of 10 every day at a resistance where the last few are very CHALLENGING. If everyday ends up being too much for you to start, work your way up to it. At least every other day.


Some take home notes before you get started. You might have noticed that TFL and Hamstrings are one both lists to stretch. To keep things simple, TFL is a complicated muscle that can pull in different ways depending on you. Generally it is an overactive muscle and most people could benefit from lengthening it. Your hamstrings are actually a group of muscles that all run down the back of your thigh. Certain ones can become tighter than others, when this happens they can pull your knee one way or the other (depending on which side is tight). A general hamstring stretch will stretch those tighter muscles more than the looser ones, but offer a good overall stretch as well.


Check out the video, look at your squat, and decide which stretches and exercises are going to be best for you, then don’t waste any time putting them in your routine!




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