Why some pain is inevitable when improving your knees

knee pain exerciseKnee pain is a vicious cycle. When it hurts to exercise your knees, you don’t want to exercise. When you don’t exercise, certain muscles weaken. When certain muscles weaken, the muscle strength in your legs becomes imbalanced. When your leg muscles are imbalanced, it hurts to exercise your knees. And so it goes.

In order to prevent that imbalance, and break free from the cycle, you need to be prepared to exercise through some discomfort. You need to expect, and accept, some discomfort in the knees as you first tackle sissy squats. More important than anything, you need to keep going for long enough to make a difference. Continue reading

How better knee positioning could make Usain Bolt run faster

GE DIGITAL CAMERA We all know Usain Bolt is fast. Really fast. But he could be faster. A quick look at his start, out of the blocks, tells us that. By considering the positioning of his knees, and the alignment of his legs, he could improve his speed – and his future health. Here’s how:

What’s the issue?

After he pushes against the blocks for his immediate start, for the next few steps his foot and leg are turned out when pushing back against the ground. This rotates his body, so the knee of the lead leg has to come in. It drives across his body (as shown in these pictures) in order to counter the rotation. Continue reading

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

Thinking between sets: the mental attitude for training success

thinking personal training regimesImproving peripheral exercises like stretches and foam rolling is relatively simple compared to improving when performing movement exercises or weight training. There is a lot to remember in doing something like a sissy squat or weighted squat, for instance. If you want to improve and develop your own training regime, however, there is only one thing you really need to remember: keep thinking. Do every exercise with the correct mentality, asking the right questions about what you need to do next to improve, and the next step should always be obvious. Thinking in the following way will remove the need to rely on prescribed lists of exercises and numbers of reps. It will make your training fluid, interesting, personally adaptive and, above all, the most beneficial training it can be. Continue reading

Training routines for foam rolling, stretches and the core

training regime stretches coreDone properly, the foam rolling, stretching and core exercises available on this site will help alleviate knee pain and ultimately help you improve your movement (alongside the main exercises) to overcome patella maltracking. It is not possible to simply do them once or twice, for a set amount of reps or minutes, and expect results, though. Following the mentality of our exercise program theory, you have to pay attention to the effects each exercise has on you individually. So what do you need to look for in these peripheral exercises, to ensure success? Continue reading

The theory behind managing a personal exercise program

personal exercise program theoryPeople like to be given simple prescriptions. When it comes to exercising, most of us want to be told we can do X exercise at Y weight, Z times a week, and stick to ticking off these numbers for results. This is a bad way to think when it comes to improving your body, and for resolving issues like knee pain – and an education in the way you develop your exercises over time is easily as important as understanding how to perform the exercises themselves.

Your body is a constantly changing thing that requires dedicated attention and flexible management. It’s important to understand how the body will develop, and what you need to do to keep progressing – and relying on a personal trainer to give you lists of numbers to tick will not, on its own, achieve the results you need. Continue reading

Weight training: an unconventional regime for a busy mum

knee strength interviewChristine Parker, a local client from  Harpenden, explains how weight training, though considered unconventional at first, has helped her move in everyday life, and given her a strong understanding of the way the body works:

I found out about Chris from my next-door neighbour Pauline. I had had a cup of tea with her at the height of her vertigo problems and she was very withered and withdrawn. Then some months later I noticed a dramatic change in her well-being: she seemed energetic and happy again and I asked what it was down to. When she said she had been doing weight training I was really taken by surprise but was intrigued enough to go along with her to watch one of her training sessions with Chris. 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

Managing inflammation when rehabilitating your knees

 

inflamed kneeWhen you’re not used to exercising certain parts of the body, you may find they become inflamed or swell when you put pressure on them. There are degrees of inflammation ranging from heavy swelling with constant pain down to a mild swelling and tenderness that dissipates after a few warm ups, but, whatever the degree, you are likely to experience at least some swelling in the course of rehabilitation. Try to manage the extent and volume of the work you do to ensure the swelling never becomes too severe.

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