One of the things Boss and I discovered and discussed 2 weeks ago is that I have “knocked” knees.
It was a discussion that came out of looking at the fallaway in standard and some of the issues I was having there. Because my knees tend to fall in, I have problems doing the fallaway and tend to feel like I am going to roll my ankle if I turn in my foot too much because I end up rolled onto the outside of my foot.
It was a long discussion with Boss trying to figure out how to explain what he was seeing and me trying to figure out how to move my muscles to fix it. I kept turning my knees out by rolling my feet out, but what is needed it for me to turn my knees out from my hips while keeping my feet balanced across the ball of my foot.
I did some research on my own and found this article which proved to be really useful : https://www.skyflohealth.com/knee-valgus/
I was able to also talk with the rehab specialist at work and do more experimenting myself. The result? I figured out how to engage my glutes and abductors to turn my knees out. Suddenly, a lot of the exercises I have been doing to help my knee issues made more sense.
The good news is that because I have been doing exercises with bands around my legs that focus on building abductor and the smaller glute muscle strength. My issue is that I haven’t taken what I have been doing to build strength and applied it in other areas.
This is turning out to be like a posture change. I have to constantly remind my muscles to fire and keep my knees turned out without letting my feet roll out. It’s building a new habit.
I have been working on it for almost 2 weeks now and I have actually seen and felt results. One of the most significant was also something from ballet – I discovered I couldn’t put my feet together while sitting in a pike position because of the angle from my knees to my feet when my knees are together – now I can almost touch my feet.
At the gym, when I do my exercises with the band, since I am now focused on engaging my muscles to keep my knees out, I am suddenly finding the exercises much harder. I am going to have to go back to using just one band and the lightest one and rebuilding from there. After the first day, I was feeling DOMS in the right places, telling me I am doing the right thing.
I am also making a small but significant change to the ankle and foot strength exercises I am doing at the gym to help with my standard rise and fall. On the advice of the rehab specialist I am now doing them with a yoga block between my thighs while keeping my feet as close together as I can. This forces my muscles to engage and keep my knees out as I move through the movements. This is extremely intense and tricky – bringing these exercises to the next level.
The specialist made some changes this week to my program. I had been doing the same program since early in the new year and it was time to change up some exercises to challenge my muscles in a new way. She also added two exercises we hope will help my neck and shoulder issues. The other thing I have had to do to help with this is find a new style and size of bra that better supports my chest with less pressure on my shoulders.
After even one session with the new exercises I am feeling some good DOMS and am optimistic it will help resolve some of the issues I am feeling. On Friday I also had some dry needling relieve a knot in my left trap that has been aggravating things for a while.
Hopefully all of these small changes will add up to big improvements in the long run.
Sometimes half the battle is figuring out what is causing the problem.