Correcting sliding heels in wide-stance squats

hip position in squatsFollowing on from our article on toes turning out during squats, which discussed fixing such a problem during wide-stance squats, this piece looks at the foot-angle issue from the perspective of the toes staying where they are but the heels sliding in.

The first part of the solution is fairly simple: distribute more of your weight back into the heels of your feet so they have more traction with the floor surface and are less likely to slide in. The weight distribution needs to be even between the 3 key areas of the foot (ball of the foot; outside edge of the foot; and the heel (especially the inside half of the heel)). Continue reading

Toes turning out in the squats – is it tight ankles or hip capsules?

toe turn hip capsuleOften when people perform this website’s preferred style of squats (wide-stance, straight-feet squats with an emphasis on external rotation from the hips) a technique problem can be encountered when the toes turn out during the movement.

We have discussed the implications of footwear on toes turning out here, so this article focusses on the question of whether it is restricted range of motion in your ankle joints and/or restricted range of motion in your hip capsules which is contributing to the problem. Continue reading

Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2014 – Part 2

Completing our list of the top 10 most popular articles published in 2014, here’s the final countdown from 5 to 1. Are they the most useful things we’ve posted this year? We can’t say that – but they certainly got the most interest from our readers.  Continue reading

Top 10 Most Popular Articles of 2014 – Part 1

As the year draws to a close, it’s a time of reflection, both seeing how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go. Hopefully in 2014 you’ve found some progress with your knee problems – whether it was progress over a matter of weeks, or months, we hope you’re feeling better than you did before. At the very least, more hopeful! With an average of one article posted every week throughout the year, we also understand there’s more content on this site than most casual readers will have digested – so it’s a time to look back and see what, of our most popular articles, you may have missed! So let’s start a countdown of the Top 10 articles (as decided by how many views they’ve had!) published in 2014 – broken into two posts to give you time to catch up on reading all these.  Continue reading

Clicking knees and related pain in patellofemoral syndrome

knee clickingHaving recently been asked about clicking during squats, and how it relates to knee pain and the overall effects of patellofemoral syndrome, it seems like an apt time to revisit this topic. Clicking knees, with or without pain, can be very disconcerting, and it’s not something that’s always commonly understood. It is not uncommon to experience clicking even if you do not have knee pain. This can happen when there is a short section of the knee’s range of motion with poor tracking but the rest of the range is otherwise fine, so that the patella is not uniformly tight and painful throughout. The cracking is the sound of the air in the joint popping as the patella quickly moves into a new position. So why does this happen, and what can be done about it? Continue reading

7 common questions about sissy squats answered

sissy squat formPowerful as they are, sissy squats are an exercise that is new and unfamiliar to most people, as it has a specialist focus. We receive a lot of questions about perfecting sissy squats form, both online and in person, so here’s our attempt to cover some of them – to make sure your sissy squat form is as good as possible to rectify your patella maltracking. Continue reading

Strolling under the skin – what’s happening in our bodies

strolling under the skinWhat goes on under our skin? The science and practice of taking care of our bodies and repairing any faults we encounter demands a deep understanding of how bodies function – and what, exactly, we are made of. An interesting element of internal anatomy that is a hot topic in modern science, partly because it can change the way people think about movement training, and partly because it is not fully understood, is fascia. It’s not an area we go into huge amounts of detail in here, but it is well worth taking a look at it – and the video Strolling Under the Skin, from Dr. Jean Claude Guimberteau, is a good place to start. Continue reading

What number of sets and reps should you do when learning a new exercise?

numbers of sets and repsWhether you are somebody who is injured and looking to learn a movement which will correct the malfunctions causing the injury, or whether you are injury free and simply looking to learn a new exercise, you need to have an idea of the volume and rep range per set you should be working with.

The first thing you need to be aware of is that learning the feel of the movement plays far more importance than simply striving to get an arbitrary number of repetitions in a set. This plays especially true if you are learning the exercise to help overcome an injury as it is likely you have never properly felt the correct muscles working before. If you are to move correctly in future, you need to learn what each part of the body feels like when it is in correct position at each part of the range. Practising a movement with this in mind helps you feel when you have moved out of correct position, creating an awareness of your own body position within space without needing to see yourself move or have someone observe you. Continue reading

Are your children making movement errors that could harm them later in life?

children movement problemsMost people who have used corrective exercises to perfect their body movements do so as a reaction to injury. And any adult who has successfully used corrective exercise to cure their own injuries will appreciate how staggeringly powerful these methods can be, and their vast superiority over pain-killing medication and surgery. This discovery usually triggers the person to realise that applying the same sort of training to improve the body’s movements to another area of the body can help them solve their other long-standing aches and pains. You are then left with a person with an entirely different outlook on the causes of pain, who realises they are personally accountable for their injuries, yet empowered to be able to cure and prevent them through practicing good movement. This is an outlook that everyone ought to have – and it should start before it is necessary, before injury. It should start early in life. Continue reading

Pushing yourself – is it better to increase reps or weight in strength training?

weight or reps in strength trainingIt may be a matter of personal preference that you like to lift low weights for many repetitions, or you may prefer to try and increase your maximum weight for a small number of repetitions. These styles may fit different moods or sentiments – your competitive nature may simply be triggered more by going further, or training for longer, for instance, or by lifting higher weights. Preference for these styles should take into account their different results, though. As with everything we want you to take away from this site, it’s important to make your training personal, but you must personalise it for the right reasons. Continue reading