The exercises and techniques we promote to resolve knee problems are designed to change the way you move in everyday life. Nowhere is this more important than in sports and more strenuous movements that you might enjoy. For this reason, everything you do to correct your knees must be considered in context. You shouldn’t spend your time correcting patella maltracking with sissy squats in the privacy of a gym, for instance, only to go for a run with your knees pushing together. So how do you make sure that your corrective exercises are applied to your everyday life?
1. Don’t do anything you’re not prepared for
If you suffer from knee pain, and are aware of your patella maltracking problems, avoid strenuous exercises that might compound those problems while you attempt to rehabilitate your knees. Forget about other exercises until you can do those recommended in our self-treatment guide to an advanced level. If you continue to do other exercises, using incorrect movements, all the hard work you do to correct your knees will be lost.
Say you have an issue with your knees caving in to the inside edge of each foot every time you run, cycle or perform any other exercise. This will overload the outer quads and the inner quads will be made redundant, adding to (and ultimately re-establishing) any imbalance you might have addressed with squat exercises. If you continue making these incorrect movements in other exercises in between your corrective exercises, this will hinder, rather than improve, your health.
2. Perfect your squats
Get to a point where you are satisfied that every sissy squat you do maintains proper technique. A point where every squat you do your knee stays out relative to the foot, even when you use a loaded barbell (see part 7 of the video series for more information on these squats). When you can do your squats perfectly, you can apply the principles behind them to other exercises.
3. Always be aware of your movements
Whether you are out running or jogging, cycling or playing team sports, always be aware of how your knees are tracking relative to your feet. If you see your knees moving inside the foot with each step you take, this is a cue for you to do more work on your tracking, and you should revisit your squats. Reassess your technique and motion for every exercise you do to make sure it is compliant with the principles covered on our site.
4. Keep up the good work
Correcting improper movement patterns can take months, even with direct face-to-face coaching, so please do not underestimate the amount of work required. Don’t despair, though: most people who succeed end up growing to love these exercises. Once you get the hang of it, the weighted squat is the most rewarding and empowering exercise anybody can do. Whatever you do, stick with it and don’t give in, going back to old habits. Remember that you are building on an overall body of work (literally), and that will take time and dedication. The moment you forget that, and let it slide, you will regress.