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  • Knee issues

    New to the thread, but after reading tons of post figured this would be a great place to ask.

    I recently have been having pains in my knee affecting my squat and other leg movements. I went to an orthepedic doctor and explained that over the past 2 years, I have been working on improving my outer sweep with my legs. He explained to me that this over training of my vastus lateralus has caused my IT to tighted and pull my knee cap to pull outwards as my leg contracts instead of up and down. I have this issue in both knees. He suggested physical thereapy, unfortunately, the therapy place is 40 minutes away and I have no time. He did say that therapy wasn't extremely needed but would speed the process.

    here finally is the question, what exercises could I do the stregthen my vastus medialus and stretch my IT bands. I appreciate all the help

  • #2
    To stretch the IT Band/TFL lie supine with the knees flexed to 90°. To stretch the right side, cross the right leg over the left so that the lateral aspect of the right ankle is in contact with the left quadriceps. Next, reach through (with the right hand) and around (with the left hand) to grasp the left hamstring. Pull the left leg toward your face, thus applying pressure on your right ankle to move in the same direction (don’t let the knee move, though; you can actually push away on it). You should feel a stretch along the lateral aspect of the right thigh, particularly where the glutes begin. Perform the opposite steps to stretch the left ITB and TFL. I will attach a pic to show you what I mean.

    Both the VL and VM are knee extensors and are both worked through movements like squats, leg press, lunges, leg extensions, etc. Did the doc tell you specifically that you need to work on the VM? Because often the pain is caused by an internal rotation of the femur that has more to do with a lack of control/activation/strength of the hip extensors (glutes). I would also recommend regular foam rolling on the lateral part of your upper leg. You may want to take a look at your posture in general and make sure the dysfunction is in fact a result of a tight VL and not something else. It wouldn't hurt to at least see the PT once, ask some questions, have him/her show you the exercises, then just do them on your own. And one other thing...I know you are trying to work on your sweep, but I would encourage you that if you are to add volume to one muscle around a joint, make sure you are adding an equal volume/intensity etc to it's antagonist so you don't get yourself into further trouble by creating more dysfunction by creating a messed up length/tension relationship to the muscles that oppose the joint. Basically, look beyond training for aesthetic and make sure you have a functional base as well, otherwise injuries will slow you down somewhere down the road. I hope that was helpful.
    Attached Files
    Last edited by Knickerbocker24; 08-20-2011, 06:00 PM.

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    • #3
      Thank you. This is a great help.

      The doc did tell me that I needed to specifically increase my strength in my VM and work on the tightness in my IT band. My exercises consist of squats,leg presses, hack squats and such. I have mostly been working with a closer stance. I have since widened my stance to not focus as much pressure on my VL. I am doing DC training, on my first Blast, and have increased my stretching in accordance. I wasn't a big stretcher before, but will add some IT stretches.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by J-Dar44 View Post
        I wasn't a big stretcher before, but will add some IT stretches.
        Foam rolling the lateral thigh before & after every workout would help a lot too.

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        • #5
          knickerbocker you my friend are a gentlemen and a scholar. I love your post all are filled with a ton of info. Thank you
          life is a battle at every front, training is a war I fight to win- Lee priest (I think)

          Nothing great comes without sacrifice- Oscar Ardon

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          • #6
            Originally posted by notsonatural View Post
            knickerbocker you my friend are a gentlemen and a scholar. I love your post all are filled with a ton of info. Thank you
            Clearly you don't know me! But, glad you find it helpful.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Knickerbocker24 View Post
              To stretch the IT Band/TFL lie supine with the knees flexed to 90°. To stretch the right side, cross the right leg over the left so that the lateral aspect of the right ankle is in contact with the left quadriceps. Next, reach through (with the right hand) and around (with the left hand) to grasp the left hamstring. Pull the left leg toward your face, thus applying pressure on your right ankle to move in the same direction (don’t let the knee move, though; you can actually push away on it). You should feel a stretch along the lateral aspect of the right thigh, particularly where the glutes begin. Perform the opposite steps to stretch the left ITB and TFL. I will attach a pic to show you what I mean.

              Both the VL and VM are knee extensors and are both worked through movements like squats, leg press, lunges, leg extensions, etc. Did the doc tell you specifically that you need to work on the VM? Because often the pain is caused by an internal rotation of the femur that has more to do with a lack of control/activation/strength of the hip extensors (glutes). I would also recommend regular foam rolling on the lateral part of your upper leg. You may want to take a look at your posture in general and make sure the dysfunction is in fact a result of a tight VL and not something else. It wouldn't hurt to at least see the PT once, ask some questions, have him/her show you the exercises, then just do them on your own. And one other thing...I know you are trying to work on your sweep, but I would encourage you that if you are to add volume to one muscle around a joint, make sure you are adding an equal volume/intensity etc to it's antagonist so you don't get yourself into further trouble by creating more dysfunction by creating a messed up length/tension relationship to the muscles that oppose the joint. Basically, look beyond training for aesthetic and make sure you have a functional base as well, otherwise injuries will slow you down somewhere down the road. I hope that was helpful.
              I thought this stretch was for the gluteus medius and minimus.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by red5260 View Post
                I thought this stretch was for the gluteus medius and minimus.
                The vastus lateralis is a knee extensor and is stretched the same way the other quad muscles are stretched. That may give some benefit, but not a ton. The IT band is a fibrous reinforcement that runs along the lateral thigh from the hip to the knee. The glute max and the TFL (hip flexion, rotation, & abduction) insert in the same basic area near the hip. This stretch is aimed more at stretching the IT band & the TFL. Often lateral knee pain is caused by a thickening of the IT band or internal rotation rotation of the femur. So although the VL may be implicated in all this, stretching & foam rolling the IT band and activating the glutes is probably going to more important than stretching the knee flexors and VL.

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