In my last post, I discussed a common situation where weakness in the inner hip muscles can lead to knee pain. In today’s post I’d like to discuss two exercises to help you address the strength of these deeper hip muscles. By doing these exercises, you can help prevent your knee from coming inwards on the descent of a squat, a common problem we looked at in the last blog post.
Exercise # 1: the double leg squat with tubing / theraband
In the video below you will see that I have tied a piece of tubing just above my knees. This helps prevent either knee from coming inwards as I descent down into my squat. It’s basically a little trick you’re playing on your body because the tubing doesn’t really add much resistance to the motion. What it does is to provide a little cue to your inner glutes so that they are “activated” properly during the downward phase of the squat. When done slowly, with good form, this exercise can help retrain your body so that the inner glutes “activate” properly in the squat, even without using the tubing. So, with a little bit of training, you won’t have to worry about your knee coming inwards on your squat… and more importantly, it should help reduce your knee pain!
Exercise # 2: the single leg squat on a step with tubing / theraband
After a little while the first exercise shown above may feel a little easy. Want to kick it up a notch? Then try the exercise below. You will have to do each leg independently. The principles are the same – namely, the tubing provides a small cue so that the inner glutes “activate” at the right time to prevent the knee from going inwards. Even if you only have one drifting inwards, it is always a good idea to strengthen both sides as symmetry will prevent muscle imbalances from developing between sides.
Patrick Jadan, Co-Owner of South Cowichan Physiotherapy
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