Do You Suffer From Knee Pain?
For people who are really into the gym, fitness and sport. How we move becomes more and more important.
When it comes to lower body movements it can mostly be categorised into three different groups, knee dominance, hip dominance and a combination of the two. Any of the movements are good, but when it comes to high load and frequency, technique becomes very important and can stop and prevent aches and pains.
Knee Dominance is when the initial movement starts from the knees. Typically the movement has a lot of knee drive, meaning the knees go much further over the ankles. Typically it is when the hips go in a straight line downwards as opposed to bum back and down.
People that are knee dominant movers generally feel the exercise mostly working the quads, which overtime can put the knee and patella tendon under more pressure hence why it may be easier to pick up achy knees. Also it means that the quads are doing majority of the work instead of the glutes.
Hip dominant movement is when the initial movement starts from the hips. During hip dominant movements the hips go back and down as if sitting into a chair. Knees stay in line with the ankles or slightly over (which is fine). Hip dominant movers typically feel the exercise work the glutes (posterior chain) which are much better at handling load and much more powerful when trained correctly.
Studies show that when the glutes are strong and firing efficiently that it not only optimises performance, but also can decrease your risk for injury in the lower back and any lower body injuries to the hip, knee and ankle.
Combination of Hip and Knee:
Combination of hip and knee movement is when both joints move at similar times. Or sometimes people initialise the movement from their knees the sit back into their hips and vice versa.
Sometimes we need to reduce certain exercises that may be aggravating our symptoms only to add them back in with time.
Exercises that are quiet knee dominant that you may avoid if your knee pain is flared up are:
Lunges (depending on technique)
Jumping and landing (depending on technique)
Weighted squats (depending on technique)
Hip Dominant Exercises to focus on when knee pain has flared up but you still want to get a leg session done:
Squat (bum back and down)
Step back lunge
Step down (depending on technique)
A good tip to become more aware of how you move and perform exercises is to notice where you feel the exercise work e.g. if you mainly or only feel the quads working in a squat it may indicate more towards knee dominance and more focus should be addressed to your hips (glutes).
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