Improving Knee Health for Ladies  

 

Do you ever suffer with Knee pain whilst exercising ?  Do your knees fall and cave inwards during  a squat? We may just be able to help you with that.

 

Within this article I will point out some key movements most females miss during their gym workouts. Movements that will not only improve your physique from an aesthetic standpoint, but also improve injury prevention (Prehab). Interested? Let’s get started.

 

Before we start looking at specific movements or exercises, we must first discuss a little anatomy. What if I told you that females are 5x more likely to tear an ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) than males. Scarey stat right? Well it’s true. This is largely down to wider hips and weak glutes. You see the body flows as one, and when one area is unstable or largely underdeveloped then problems can arise. Ladies are born with shorter but also wider pelvises than males, and this is for childbirth. With the pelvis being wider the q-angle is greater. (not all ladies of course have wide hips but im talking generic here).

 

What’s the Q – Angle

Without being too sciency here, the Q- angle basically measures the orientation of the patella on the Femur to the outer hip.  – Which will determine the impact from sports on the knee joint itself. So the wider the pelvis the greater the q angle, and the greater the q angle the more prone to knee problems and injuries we are…..If we don’t train correctly. Some ladies have really wide hips and there is not a great deal you can do about this as a bone is a bone. We can’t change your bone structure & it comes down to genetics. But with this knowledge we can take a little precaution to leg type workouts and tweek a little. A wider stance might be more comfortable doing squats for example. Also With a sharper angle from your hip’s to your knees your ACL (Anterior Cruciate ligament) get’s stretched over and over again during exercise, thus being exposed to a lot of wear and tear. As you can see the knee can take a pounding if we don’t take proper precaution.

Other issues causing knee pain –

Ever seen someone’s Hips sway dramatically when walking? This is known as trendelenburg syndrome. Whilst on one leg (walking, running, lunges, step ups etc) people suffering from this condition have a hard time stabilizing the pelvis causing more discomfort on the knee. When standing still they might display an excessive lean to the stance leg to shift their centre of gravity. If this sounds like you then perhaps step ups or walking lunges in the gym are not the movement for you just yet. But they can be if we work on lower body structural balance.

What can we do & How can we help improve this?

Train your glutes !

Hitting your bum hard with the right amount of overload isn’t just going to improve your body shape. But it can really help improve knee problems. You see one of the main functions of the glutes are to externally rotate the hip. So by improving your ability to externally rotate that will in turn help pull back the dropped in ward knees. This could potentially reduce the pressure on your ACL. Your knees tracking forward and not in-ward like bambi is where we need them to be.  A stronger pair of Glutes can massively improve the overall stability of the pelvis as well, remember the swaying problem I mentioned above? Your glutes are the biggest surface muscle within the body and an underdeveloped butt can lead to multiple lower body dysfunctions. Weak abductor muscles and inner thighs can also pull that knee inwards. So by working from home with a resistance band can really target those areas. Here are some great butt blasting moves you can incorporate into your fitness programme now.

 

Deadlift

Romanian Deadlifts

Good Morning

Hip Thrusts

X Band walks

Machine Abductors

Glute Kickbacks

Kettlebell swing

 

Within the sporting world there aren’t too many that don’t involve some form of hip extension. So be mastering the above moves will have a really decent carry over into your chosen activity. Or if you don’t play sport and you’re just training for fitness……. You can of course still enjoy building a decent pair of buns & in turn correct some dysfunctions and deviations in your lower body. Happy training.

 

David Thrower

Phil Gough Health and Fitness