Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Fixing runners knees

Sara asked me about runner's knee in the comments of the last post.  I had a knee problem just like runners knee when I was lifting weights and further research has confirmed it is the same condition.  The good news is that there is a very effective cure.

There are four muscle that extend the knee in running.  The issue is that not all extending of the knee is stresses strengthens these muscles in the same manner.  Lifting movements that involve both legs extending at the same time put less muscle strengthening stress on the inner quads.  This imbalance becomes apparent when your overly strong outer quads pull harder in movements involving legs extending by themselves.  This cause stress on you knees and pain.

The answer is to perform strengthening movements that will bring balance to the quadricepts.  There is an excellent exercise to bring that balance back it is call the leg extension.

I recommend you to 3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.  You should pick a weight that you cannot do more then 12 and go to failure.

WARNING You cannot safely to leg extensions without doing leg curls or you will cause another muscle imbalance that can injure knee.

follow the same lifting schedule of  3 sets of 8 to 12 repetitions.  You should pick a weight that you cannot do more then 12 and go to failure.

There you go please let me know how it goes Sara and anyone else with this problem.


Madison M. said...

I loved this post!! I have been having some problems with my knees and wasn't sure what to do about it!! Thank You!! This helps a bunch!

ludo said...

Great post Angie but leg extensions on a machine can be tough for people with patella problems.
Squats (no more than 90 degrees) are usually safer for the knee joint.

Speaking from personal experience ;-)

Carl Sheeler said...

Wow, thanks Angie and Jaymon! I live in rural NM and, well, thanks for being my barefoot running friends. Angie, way way way to go on your one year anniversary. Sara

Emz said...

loved this.

I hate knee problems.

Unknown said...

Substitute Blogger

Good point Ludo. Though squats will not fix runners knee.

Patella problems in the leg extension come from a muscle imbalance between the quads and the hamstrings. If you already have problems with the patella then focus on the leg curls until they catch up to the to extensions.
Squats will make the muscle imbalance increase causing the runners knee to get worse not better. Some recommend one leg presses but I have found this not nearly as effective as the leg extension/curl set of exercises.

The Boring Runner said...

My sports med doc said the exact same thing as you, angie. so, there is that! Of course, I have yet to actually TAKE the advice that he recommended - as can be seen with my knee straps here:

or here:

Or even here!

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