Let’s talk about your (sore) knees

And about your dormant butt. 

A few months ago, one of my students sent me a link to an article about dormant butt syndrome and we both had a chuckle because I spend LOTS of time talking about how we are all too weak in the behind. And making people do bridges, squats, and lunges to correct that. 

What does this have to do with knees?

Well, your kneecaps are stabilised by the muscles in your hips and thighs and we run into problems when we have an imbalance in the relative strength and flexibility of those muscles.

What tends to happen is that we sit on our butts a lot. 

No surprise there. So, we sit on the very group of muscles that are meant to power us through life and they get lazy. And because we spend all this time in one position, the muscles at the front of our hips and thighs get tight, which pulls the kneecap up and backwards into the soft tissue.

There is a sticky-outy bit at the back of our patella and if you’re wearing it up and back, so to speak, it’s gonna be scraping away at the tissues behind it, causing inflammation over the long term.

Also, if your muscles aren’t strong enough to stabilise your knees, your patella will tend to track funny and that also causes pain.

Ouch all round.

The solution in three parts:

1. Learn to RELEASE your quadriceps at the front of your thighs, and also STRETCH them.

Great video on releasing your quads (or visit the one we made here)

2. Stretch your calves. Tight calves force your knees to bend a bit, and that forces your quads to tighten, and this whole situation keeps your knees stuck up and your body mass forward of plumb.

3. And get your butt and lateral hips stronger so that you can keep your knees in line. Lunging, squatting and bridge are great, and you want to work towards single-leg variations of these because that’s when the muscles in the sides of your hips really start to work.

 

You could make a start using these exercises and these too. Not just for runners and cyclists.