Improving your quad strength to master back position in squats

quad strength for backs squatsThe next component for improving your balance in the squat (after ) is understanding the role that quad strength plays in preventing excessive forward lean. As we showed in our first article in this series, an extreme lean forwards can make squatting seem easier, and help with early balance problems, but eventually it will create other problems. Addressing the strength in your quads thus becomes the key to lasting balance and strength. Continue reading

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

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

Improve your knees with this powerful lower leg stretch:

lower leg stretch for kneesAs part of an effective course of exercise and treatment for patella maltracking and knee problems, stretches help maintain correct movement and prevent persistent imperfections in movement. The following guide explains a special lower leg stretch (a calf muscle stretch) that will help improve how your knee moves in relation to the foot. Continue reading

One essential principle to improve your knees whilst sitting

sitting correctly for knee problemsIn the modern world, with the ability to achieve so much via a computer without ever moving from your desk, your posture whilst sitting is more important than ever. You might perform all the movements of your everyday life perfectly, with correct form and ample exercise, but if half your day is spent sat in an incorrect position, your knees will suffer (amongst other areas of the body). Maintaining this single principle whilst sitting is an essential point in preventing knee pain: 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

Interview with a trainee: Andrew LeDuc

knees interview, case study, squat We love to hear from anyone whose improved their health through exercise in training. In order to share the stories of success, we’re happy to interview anyone who feels they’ve benefited from our videos or articles. The first of our series comes from Andrew LeDuc, who approached Chris Williams to thank him for his YouTube instructional videos. Continue reading

How to use sissy squats to correct patella maltracking

sissy squat, kneesIf you suffer from patella maltracking, the chances are you find it difficult, and likely painful, to perform any activity that involves bending the knees. Sissy squats are all about bending your knees, and are a big step towards making that knee pain a thing of the past. They’re not a quick fix: they may take time to master, and progress may be slow, but if you were to do only one exercise to help your knees, the sissy squat could make the most difference in the long run. Why? Because they improve the balance between the muscles which pull the patella laterally and medially, specifically targeting the tracking of the patella. Continue reading