I have to be honest right up front. If you are experiencing knee pain right now PLEASE go see a doctor and get checked out. If you don’t have any significant issues that need to be addressed by a professional or you don’t want old issues to rise up again, THIS post is for you! It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t say that because every knee condition could have different needs and considerations. However, a lot of people deal with general knee pain and think it is about a magical exercise or specific muscle that needs to be trained.
The truth is the science is pretty clear about the qualities we need to train the most. We need foot stability, ankle mobility, and strength to resist frontal (lateral) and transverse plane forces (rotational).
One of the most important lessons about knee pain is that it is usually how the body interacts. That is why the exercises that are most effective in helping issues with knee pain contain all these qualities at once. Not only that, but teaching the body how to control these qualities on its own without artificial support of things like wedges and the like!
Below physical therapist, Jessica Bento, demonstrates what such exercises would like. Each of these exercises contain more than one of the key aspects of knee pain solutions. For example, the press out step down with mini bands around the feet reinforces the stability the feet need to create as a foundation. The step down requires lateral stability of the entire kinetic chain and the press out of the Ultimate Sandbag develops core stability that provides better control of the hip, knee, and even foot!
Our MAX (multiple axis) lunge teaches how to to produce force in the sagittal plane while at the same time resisting front and transverse plane forces. Not just to resist them, but how to do so more reflexively when the body has to react to the need for stability when we need it which is more necessary in reducing the chances of suffering injury. Having a super band under the foot reinforces how we need to create stability from the ground up as well.
Then our Bear Hug squat with bands around the feet was something we covered in our post yesterday (you can check out here) how this teaches better glute training, how to have greater mobility, while allowing us to load the body to a higher degree to develop overall body strength.
The cool part is being able to take what science teaches us about better movement, strength, and resilience to actually what we do in the gym. This isn’t about just doing things to train a muscle or use random tools, but to have great purpose in our training so that we can offer greater solutions.
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