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

Can sissy squats help cure cartilage-based knee problems?

sissy squats knee cartilage Following from our article regarding different causes of knee pain, we’re now going to address the question of what knee strength exercises can do for a different condition to patella maltracking – worn out cartilage. Longstanding movement problems can lead to the wearing down of your cartilage around the knee, and if this wears down then the bones will rub without protection, causing knee pain. Can sissy squats help relieve this pain, as it does with patella maltracking? Continue reading

Measuring sissy squats – a homemade platform

homemade sissy squat platformWe were delighted to receive a message from one of our readers recently who wished to show us a device he had created to keep track of his sissy squat progress. It’s a great demonstration of our principles, proactively developing your own training regime, for effective progression, while at the same time literally showing how you can benefit through DIY training. Mike Tassinari, seeing an opportunity to carefully monitor his training, produced this: Continue reading

5 key differences between squats and sissy squats

squats key differencesAs you progress in your exercises, it’s important to remember that what you learn in one exercise may not always be directly applicable to another. With squats and sissy squats, which similar names and similar principles, there are many factors that make them different. You must beware of these differences, to avoid mistakes.

1. Purpose of the squat exercises

Sissy squats are a specialist exercise aimed to help people with patella maltracking restore proper balance in their quadriceps muscles, to ensure the patella does not rub against the condyles of the femur. Squats are the most fundamental movement a human being performs. Using them as an exercise teaches and develops proper movement patterns and strength throughout the whole body.

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Getting Fit in the New Year – Using Resolutions to Resolve your Problems

new year fitness resolutionsWith every New Year comes flurries of determined resolutions, and we’re no stranger to them as most seem to relate to getting fitter (or slimmer). Especially after the Christmas season, it’s a time for people to step back, take stock and consider how their physical health could be improved. The same way you might take stock after a heavy party, an indulgent holiday or a particularly big cake. But how many of us make these promises to ourselves and don’t follow through? It turns out that those who do make their commitments at New Year are more likely to see results. 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

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

“With just two main exercises, I’m stronger than ever”

knees interview, case study, squat

Since launching our training videos on YouTube, a lot of viewers have written to say how the simple exercises have been life-changing. None more so than Andrea, who now trains with Chris via Skype. We asked her to give us the full story of her background and progress: 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