Lately – I have come a cross a lot of students with knee pain or an expression of knee joint pain. I therefore would like to commit this blog post to the knee joint and common injuries and what you can do to prevent a future injury.
Two things we as therapists or coaches keep an eye out for are the valgus and varus knee deformity. Valgus knee is more common among women than men. Valgus knee means that the knee “cave in” or “falls in” during a movement, ex squat, giving it a knock-kneed appearance and putting extra pressure on the outer (lateral) compartment of the knee joint. Varus knee is more common among men. It’s what causes some people to be bowlegged. It happens when your tibia, the larger bone in your shin, turns inward instead of aligning with your femur, the large bone in your thigh.
If you have valgus knee deformity – there is a greater chance that the lateral ligament will get injured as it tries to stabilise and protects the knee from falling in. The best way to strengthen and protect your knees are to a) strengthen your vastus medialis muscle + the VMO and b) gluteus medius muscle. If you actively work on strengthening these two muscles, the likelihood of knee injury will decrease substantially.
Furthermore – to protect your knees from injuries but also conditions as osteoporosis or cartilage damage – I would encourage you all to. improve. the strength and range of motion of the Quadriceps femoris muscle. The four muscles are the Vastus Intermedius, Vastus Lateralis, Vastus Medialis and Rectus Femoris (see picture below). Being the largest muscle group in the leg, they all sit on the front of the thigh and assist in many activities. Having STRONG quads will not only help the knee joint, but also benefit in basic exercises such as walking, running, jumping and squatting.
18 – 15 – 12 – 9 – 12 – 15 – 18
Front Squat (155/105)
Shoulder to Overhead (135/95)
**Coaches interval: 10/7 Cal AB**