The knee is one of the hinge joints in our body and allows for both flexion and extension movements to occur. It is also one of the most commonly injured areas of the body due to the amount of compressive forces that it often has to handle throughout the day. At Myomuv we pride ourselves in specializing in the treatment of individuals dealing with nagging knee pain. Whether you’re an athlete with knee pain during squats, running, or box jumps, or an active adult dealing with achy knees carrying your kids up and down the stairs, we want to be able to get you back to these activities…. PAIN FREE! We believe everyone should be able to perform basic maintenance on themselves by taking an active role in their movement which leads to major success! We want to educate and share with you some of our favorite exercises focusing on mobility, coordination, and strength for building up bulletproof resilient knees!
To simplify knee pain, it can be caused by three different things.
1) KNEE CAPACITY
This is by far the most common cause. This just means your knee wasn’t resilient enough or capable enough to handle what you wanted it to do. This does encompass overuse injuries. If you are an experienced Crossfit athlete you likely won’t feel any added discomfort or pain with a workout that included a lot of loaded knee flexion alongside running because your knee is CAPABLE. You have built up your capacity and the muscles and structures at the knee joint have positively adapted. If you have only been doing Crossfit for 2 months coming from a large period of inactivity and you perform the same exact workout; you may have some added knee pain. This does not mean physical damage has occurred, pain is more complex than that.
2) ANKLE/FOOT INEFFICIENCY
Most people have the prerequisite ankle range of motion to perform their activities. What you may be lacking is coordination and strength in the foot and ankle complex. The knee won’t be able to move as well as it should if the joint below it can’t properly anchor and move you on the floor!
3) HIP INEFFICIENCY
Stiff hips and weak hips can impact the knee joint. Addressing hip mobility and stability can also be a great solution for clearing up AND/OR preventing unwanted knee pain from limiting you!
REVERSE NORDIC CURL
Notice how my hips stay pushed through and extended. There is no hip hinge here since we want to keep all the hinging and tension around the knee joint. The goal is to use the band as little as possible as you attempt to get your trunk parallel to the ground. Keep the chest HIGH!
This movement is great for those currently dealing with knee pain AND those looking to prehab their knee to build more capacity. Notice the angle of the shin. It’s vertical or straight up and down. Compared to a traditional front squat or even high bar back squat where we see a lot of anterior shin translation (more angle in the shin). By sitting back we increase the demand of the knee muscles like the quadricep while ALSO decreasing a lot of anterior stress to the knee joint. It’s a WIN WIN movement for knee health.
ATG SPLIT SQUAT
Ankle Mobility is a big factor in potential causes of knee pain in Crossfit Athletes. Given the demand of most of your movements we want to comfortable be able to extend our knees over our toes. Most ankle mobility movements in a 1/2 kneeling position, while still effective, do not include enough body weight forces to create lasting adaptation and coordination in the ankle.
Why the weight on the knee? To overload that joint compression which can increase ankle end range of motion by stimulating more joint mechanoreceptors. Try it and see!
I’ll spare some details here but this is what you get for this exercise. More foot strength and single leg balance. More frontal plane stability at the knee joint. More external rotation capacity at the hip. More hip-knee-ankle coordination with all three joints working together. Have I convinced you to give this one a try yet?