In this article I am going to give you the answers to the following questions:
When should you go see your Doctor about knee pain?
How do you stretch your ankles and hips (the common reasons why people have knee pain when squatting and knee pain in general) to help you squat and move better?
The two different types of squats you can do and how to perform each.
And a hell of a lot more!
I hope you enjoy!
Quick Squat Tutorial
This is a real quick down and dirty squat tutorial where I go over the two types of squats – The power squat and natural squat.
Tests to determine what’s causing your squat issue.
There are three easy tests we use to assess someone’s ankle and hip mobility (mobility differs from flexibility). Mobility refers to how easy a joint moves, flexibility refers to how easy a muscle can move. Think gymnastics for mobility and yoga for stretching. For our purposes, we want good mobility, but as far as you are concerned the terms can be interchangeable when discussing the squat.
First test – Can you touch your toes?
This test assess your straight leg ankle mobility. If you cannot touch your toes this doesn’t mean you can’t squat, but it certainly tells us some stuff…mostly that you have tight ankles in a straight leg position.
Second test – can you squat, hips below knees AND hold it there for 10 seconds?
This test is pretty straight forward – Can you squat without pain? If you want to squat…you need to squat! This test allows us to assess your overall tightness. Specifically, we are looking at it from the hips down. Can you get below parallel? Can you hold it there? Bonus points if you can hold it there WITHOUT SHOES ON. Not a necessity, per se, but that is something to work towards. Some people can bounce down and up with no problem, we don’t want that.
Third test – Can you squat with hips below parallel AND keep your toes pointed straight ahead?
This is another pretty straight forward test – Where are your toes pointed once you get into the full squat and what do your knees do? Do your heels come up off the ground (tight ankles)? Do your knees cave in (tight hips)? Do your feet turn out (tight ankles)?
If you cannot perform any of those movements WITHOUT KNEE PAIN then skip down to the last video on this page – When should you talk to your doctor about knee pain with squatting?
Start at the ankles.
Most knee pain can be attributed to tight ankles. What exactly is a tight ankle/how do you know you have tight ankles? Well…you probably do. Tight ankles and a tight upper back are the MOST COMMON joint restrictions we see at our gym. World renowned Strength Coach Mike Boyle (arguably the guy who brought functional training into the mainstream) always says – “You can always improve your ankle and thoracic mobility.”
There are two ways you need to stretch your ankles – in a straight leg and in a bent knee fashion. You have two muscles that make up your calf (gastrocnemius and soleus – One likes a bent ankle, the other likes a straight leg) both need to be stretched in two different ways.
Then go to the hips.
Hip mobility is the next thing to tackle. Poor hip mobility will cause your knees to do some wonky things during the squat as well as possibly cause lower back pain if you are trying to force yourself into the bottom of the squat.
When should you see your doctor if squatting hurts your knees?
Understand something – Most, as in over 95%, of your aches and pains can be alleviated through proper exercise selection, rest and good coaching/program design. At the end of the day, it takes time to heal things.
Case in point.
Having said that – If you perform these stretches, a few times per day, for 30 days and you still have knee pain when squatting, you might want to consult your doctor. These are just STRETCHES/MOBILITY exercises. If you came to our gym with knee pain, we would use these exercises PLUS strengthening moves that target the hamstrings and glutes. But, that is too much for this article.
Here’s a quick video on WHEN you should go see your doctor about knee pain with squatting.
There ya go! I hope you enjoyed this article and that it helps you squat better without pain!
Do you have knee pain? Let us help you! Give us 30 days and we will show you how to fix your knee pain while also getting some weight off of you, improving your energy and teaching you a lot of things about your body you didn’t know!
Being a lifestyle gym, we are constantly looking at ways to make Wellth (fitness, health, wellness and well being) a part of people’s lives. Sometimes that means getting loved ones involved, like getting dirty together! Yes! You can build a better relationship by getting dirty together!
We think it’s important to keep your eye on your goal and never give up on that goal, however, sometimes chasing that goal can make us crazy and compulsive. We encourage our members to set other goals like running a 5K, competing in powerlifting meets, joining the local ultimate frisbee league, or running an obstacle race with friends, family or your fitness community. In fact, tackling those things with a loved one makes it that much better. Here are three ways you can build a better relationship with your loved one by getting dirty together!Dr. Court and Carrie Vreeland in their first Tough Mudder Race in 2011. They look so young in this pic!
Have you ever done a physical event with your husband/wife,mom,sister or brother, or maybe your favorite BFF. Why? A lot of good things can come out of it getting dirty and sweaty together! These are the top three reasons I have done races with my mom, husband, sister in-law, father in law and of course our members and awesome team!
Support – Everyone needs support. These races are meant to be done as a team of at least two. Most people NEED help getting over some of the obstacles. That’s where your loved one comes in and your team. By doing these races with your loved one, you each learn how to support each other and ask for HELP when you need it.
Impress – YES! I want to impress my mom, husband, family and friends and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. I bet they want to impress me too! Running a race with my mom was amazing! She could see the things I was capable of that she may not have ever seen and same for her. I was so impressed she ran over 3 miles, crawled through mud and over walls. And, let’s be honest…she’s not exactly “young” in body. It was so inspiring! I want to still be doing this when I am her age.
Mom and I getting ready to run!
Trust – This is a big one! For me anyway. Of course I trust my family and friends BUT to throw my butt over a wall, to push me when I need it the most, to carry me when needed and to trust me to do the same. That trust BUILDS trust. Does your husband or wife trust you to help them over a wall? Sometimes I don’t even trust my husband to take out the garbage. But, when the shit hits the fan, I know I can count on him to help me out.
Taking on a challenge like the Tough Mudder with your husband, mom, BFF or friends will make your relationship so much stronger. It will give you so many great memories, stories to laugh about and most importantly give you more confidence. Plus, from a scientific standpoint you release the bonding hormone called Oxytocin. This is the same hormone that is released after sexy time, giving someone a long hug, looking into your dog’s eyes, etc. It’s that rush we feel when we connect to someone.
More confidence to do things you didn’t think you could, trust in others and yourself, and the ability to support others in a way you didn’t think was possible.
Brother and sister mud love!
Kirsty and Shawn’s first race together in 2011 as husband and wife!
Do you have a husband/wife/brother/sister/mom/dad/boyfriend/girlfriend or even a friend you want to do the August 19th Tough Mudder with? We have a program for you! It’s only $199 for 7 weeks of training that starts on June 19th and runs until August 13th. You get a customized running program as well as weekly training work outs AND you will be on our team! Of course only if you want to, but why wouldn’t you? We will help you get improve your condition and work on getting stronger so you can tackle these races. As always – we start as a team and finish as a team. Click the picture below to sign up and learn more about the program.
At the end of our RAMP (Range of Motion, Activation, Movement Prep…fancy way of saying warm up) we have some movements that improve your balance through locomotion. These movements are basic play ground exercises like skipping, side shuffling, cross over, 360 runs, etc. It’s amazing how many people can’t skip! We do this to help our members improve their balance (among other things). Prevent falling is one of the more common goals we hear from our older members.
Locomotion is simply moving from one point to another point, i.e. running.
Falling is a real fear as you age. Falling is also a real fear if your weak. I have VERY good balance from years of wrestling, Judo and Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. When I was going through chemo, I would often lose my balance JUST WALKING DOWN STAIRS. If you want to feel what it will be like when you get older with no exercise…go through 2 months of chemo. Eye opener.
Why do we fall? Simple – because we lose our balance! However, WHAT causes us to lose our balance? Well…that doesn’t really matter. That’s the wrong question to ask, the right question is – how do I prevent myself from falling. That one is simple – improve your dynamic and static balance. And getting stronger, that tends to help with everything.
Static and Dynamic Balance
True story! As you age, you get weaker if your not working on getting stronger, that’s just a natural thing that occurs. Well, as your muscle mass/strength decreases, so does your ability to hold your self up right on one leg – static balance. Now for most people static balance isn’t the issue because it’s rare that someone just falls over from losing their balance standing still. That’s called passing out…and we can’t really train you to prevent that.
Chris working on his dynamic balance with some lateral skips.
Dynamic balance is the issue. How many times have you heard – “I was walking and lost my balance, fell and hurt my arm/knee/hip/back, etc.” from a friend or older family member? A lot i bet! That’s dynamic balance – as you move from one leg to the other are you able to keep your center of gravity and mass between your legs and not outside your base of support.
Falling is an uncontrolled run, because all running is a controlled fall. Try it. Try to run with out leaning forward, you don’t really go very far. You must lose your balance ever so slightly, catch your self and then continue that…it’s just a series of falls. Now, running it’s self won’t improve balance because people tend to fall when they CAN’T RECOVER FROM LOSING THEIR BALANCE. Remember – walking is a controlled fall. We can fall great, but its when we can’t recover that we actually cause an injury to our self.
That’s where things like skipping, side shuffling, backwards running, etc. all come into play. By practicing those movements we haven’t done since we were kids we improve our dynamic balance, help ward against fall related injuries AND get to practice a skill we haven’t used in a while which helps the brain stay young. Plus, it’s a lot of fun! I dare you to skip with out smiling!
So…check out this short video on WHY we locomote after our RAMP and to hear a little bit more on dynamic balance.
Did you like what you read? Are you inserted in learning more about KDR? Have you heard great things about us and just want to jump into a trial? Click on the picture below to learn more about our 30 day for $99 trial.
On this weeks buttfessions lets talk about jeans for the petite athletic female. What do I mean by petite and athletic? Well, if your butt is bigger then your waist, you know what I am talking about.
It’s a bitch finding jeans that “fit”. Most clothing companies don’t make jeans to fit women with glutes or quad…or muscles for that matter. It’s a good problem to have BUT it’s still a problem. I don’t want to wear workout/yoga pants every day! Plus I really hate trying clothes on (Ben loves to shop…true story…you should see his shoe collection) so when I find a pair of jeans I stick with them.
Common issues I have are:
–The waist gap – when they fit my quads and butt just right…but I have a big waist gap in the back.
– The loose knees – when they fit perfect on the waist, butt and quads but my knees are baggy. What?!
– The skinny jean – I find a size that fits perfectly on butt, waist, and quads…TOO long. I have to roll them up like 3 times!
– The Saggy crotch – I barely squeeze them over my quads, get them buttoned…ok…suddenly they went from a high waist to a low waist because I can’t get them all the way up over my butt. The result is a saggy crotch that may split if I do the squat test. ALWAYS DO THE SQUAT TEST!
So what do I wear?
Hear what other fitness professionals are wearing!
Last week I gave you my favorite (builder) glute exercises. Link from 1st post. Check them out here.
Here are my top 5 sculptures:
SL Hip Ups
Side Lying ABD’s
These are movements you can do every day and add to your current workout program. I prefer a high rep range, 15-30 on each to maximize the burn AND pump. Love thy pump! I hope my buttfessions helps you embrace what you have and work with it rather than working against it.
Those glutes weren’t given to her. They were earned!
Not that long ago, glutes were thought to be one of those muscle groups you couldn’t train effectively. However, (THANK GOD!) we now know that’s not true! They are a muscle just like any other muscle and can respond to exercise the same way other muscles respond, they can get stronger, with more tone and you can even SCULPT your booty (arguably) better then other body parts.
A strong butt will help protect the back and knees from injury AND is imperative if you want to be the best athlete you can be. Glutes are THE prime mover in hip extension (pushing your foot behind your hip) during sprinting, skating, etc.
Looking at that booty! You don’t get that by running slow.
That’s great if you want a better looking butt! Check out our 30 days of glutes challenge and start rocking a tighter butt that:
Will help protect your lower back from injuries.
Help you in almost all sporting events.
Will fill out your jeans better! No one wants a desk ass.
Don’t forget to squeeze your glutes at the top of every motion!
Do you want a stronger and more sculpted butt? Sign up for our 6 week Stronger You program!