Effective progression with weighted squats

personal training regime for weighted squatsOur previous post emphasised the importance of reflecting on your exercises using sissy squats as an example. To reach our final stages of progression in overcoming patella maltracking, it is essential to employ the same mentality to weighted squats. Like with the sissy squats, we will try to stick to low rep sets (around 5 reps), to allow more sets and more time for reflecting on technique. There is a lot more to think of with regular squats, so this brief guide will help structure your overall progression: Continue reading

An ab exercise to strengthen your whole core: dead bugs

dead bug abdominal exercise coreStrong abdominal muscles aren’t just for show. Strength in your core is vital for greater control over the pelvis – and better pelvis control is the basis of a more stable body in general. A weak core can lead to movement problems that will contribute to patella maltracking. This one exercise, colourfully called the ‘dead bug’, will help strengthen your whole core, for a stable pelvis and a stable body in general. Continue reading

Introducing a weighted bar for the best squat form

weighted squats, how to hold a barWhen you graduate from unweighted squats, or simple broom squat practice, to using a bar, the added weight and equipment involved can lead to confusion. This brief introduction will highlight the most important details of the exercise that you should always keep in mind. It may seem like there is a lot to remember, but don’t lose hope. Though it can take years to truly master squats, mastery of weighted squats is, effectively, mastery of your whole body, and the ultimate basis for conquering all your future knee problems. Continue reading

Perfecting the weighted squat: how to hold the bar

holding squat barWhen you’ve mastered unweighted squats, as covered in our previous guides, the next step in ensuring lasting healthy knees is to build your overall body strength. Correct form prevents imbalances, but to ensure the muscles are resilient to being overworked in the future (the major source of recurring trigger point and join pain problems), strengthening your muscles is the essential next step. There will come a point when your bodyweight is not enough to build strength, and the best way to add weight to your squats, for further improvements, is through lifting a bar. Continue reading

Perfecting your unweighted squat form

unweighted squat

When you’ve progressed through doing unweighted squats without pain, the next step is to work on perfecting your form. Proper form unweighted squats will really start to test your knee movements, and allow you to build up to weighted squats safely and without pain. Make sure your squats are flawless with these major points: Continue reading

Progressing with sissy squats: a training regime example

training regimeThough every person’s training is unique, and a good instructor would adapt your regime to your personal needs, you always need a structured plan to monitor and encourage progression. To give you an idea of how you should take sissy squats from basic curiosity to perfect mastery, here’s an example plan of action that you could stick to. Please note this plan is for demonstrative purposes, and your personal training timeline should be adapted to your personal abilities and ambitions. Continue reading

Applying correct movement theories to other exercises

applying corrective exercisesThe 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? Continue reading

How to do unweighted squats without knee pain

unweighted squatThe single most important exercise for knee strength, and for health and fitness in general, is the squat. When you reach your perfect level of fitness, you may squat to platforms as low as 12 or 13 inches, bearing incredible loads and pushing your knees about as far as your toes. When you’re suffering from patella maltracking, though, bending your knees a fraction over the foot may be excruciatingly painful. You can get around that pain by doing unweighted squats with a few minor compensations, laying the foundations for a squat without compensations later. Continue reading

How to use a foam roller to correct patella maltracking: the lower leg

foam rollers for lower leg patella maltracking exercise

In the second in our series of exercises to use foam rolling to correct patella maltracking, we are focusing on the lower leg. After the outer quads, the lower leg muscles are the next most important area to address, because tightness in the lower legs can restrict your ankle movements, which can lead to a whole host of movement compensations. These movements, though you might not be aware of it now, are integral to a number of exercises (and everyday body movements) that will help you rebalance your knees and ultimately cure your knee pain. This rolling exercise, then, is a necessary building block for strong, pain free knees: Continue reading

How to use a foam roller to correct patella maltracking: the outer quads

foam rollers for outer quad patella maltracking exercise

There is already a vast wealth of information about foam rolling on the internet, so our current series of guides are designed to focus specifically on using foam rolling to help correct patella maltracking. To start, we’ll look at a foam rolling exercise designed to loosen the outer quad (vastus lateralis). This is the area where tightness in the muscle is most likely to cause an imbalance in the patella motion, as noted in our explanation of patella maltracking. When you want to relieve knee pain, it’s vital to relieve the knots in your muscles, and this is an effective way to start: Continue reading