Damn My Knee Hurts
Mike Robertson just had a killer post on what causes knee pain and the answer might surprise you.
If there is pain in the knee, it does not necessarily mean you have a knee injury or the pain is originating in the knee itself. In fact, the issue is typically traced back to the kinetic segment above or below this joint. The knee requires stability. Stability to absorb forces and engage movement without buckling or shifting. But if the adjacent joints (hips and ankles) are immobile (and they require mobility), the forces that translate across the kinetic chain must get mobility somewhere. The knee, unfortunately, has to compensate.
As a result, pain happens. Either immediately through an acute, traumatic injury or over time. Microtrauma and wear and tear of the soft-tissues and support structures will occur.
So Mike offers two solution; improve hip mobility and activate the balancing force couples, ie. the gluteals to improve posture and restore movement. I discuss this in my new muscle building system AMD in detail and provide strategies for long term health.
Here are a few exercises to improve hip mobility and activate the glutes to get you started:
1. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings will activate the glutes and provide a decelerative loading of the posterior chain.
2. Bulgarian Split Squats
The benefits of Bulgarian split squats are three fold. They activate the glutes, activate the quads and stretch the hip flexors. Again, the goal is to restore neutral hip alignment and improve movement.
3. BTR Deadlifts
Beyond the range (BTR) deadlifts will not only improve hip mobility and hamstring flexibility but also develop strength in this new range of motion. I term this “strength mobility”.
Check out this video:
4. Seated Piriformis Stretch
If the piriformis muscle (abducting and laterally rotating the thigh) is tight from too much time on the computer, at your desk or on the couch, it will pull your hips into anterior pelvic tilt. This causes a TON of problems including putting the hamstrings and abdominals on tension and shutting down the glutes. So keeping this muscle (group) stretched is essential for hip mobility and if we look down the chain, knee health.