Knock knees are a common problem as we age and for many young children. Most articles online will tell you to address the abductors and strengthen them with various exercises which should correct the problem. The key ingredient, and the one that’s missing from most articles is the IT BAND!!! If you have a tight IT band you will definitely have issues with you knees jetting inward. We will address both to give you a more in-depth solution to this common problem.
Here are some of the common Exercises for knock knee -
Tones: Thighs, butt, and core
Stand with your feet about hip-width apart, holding dumbbells down at your sides.(A) Take a giant step to the right, dropping your butt back (keeping your knee from extending over your toes) and pretending to place the weights on either side of your foot. (B) Press back to start. Then immediately repeat the move to the left. 10 to 12 reps per side (source)
I know it looks like an ab exercise…. that’s because it is!! The Side plank is also a great exercise for knock knees because it helps to strengthen the outside of the leg, hips, and abs as you hold this isometric position.
Lie on your right side (and then on your left) with your legs straight. Rest your left hand on your hip.
Hold your abs in for 60 seconds. Be sure your hips and knees stay off the floor.
Repeat this move on each side 2-3 times.
This is one that no one seems to be mentioning !!! Tube walking is a GREAT exercise for the abductors (outter thighs), glutes (butt) and hips.
Exercise can be done with a resistance band with handles or a tube/circular band. Exercise is performed the same.
1. Put your feet inside of the tube and place it right below the bottom of your calf muscle OR hold the band in each hand, step on the middle of it with both feet, and now cross the band by switching the handles and putting them into the other hand
2. Start with your feet together
3. Take a step directly to the side with one foot, slowly
4. Take a step with the opposite foot in the same direction
5. Continue slowly one foot at a time.
Foam Rolling IT Band
* The Secret Ingredient to really solving the problem is ROLLING YOUR IT BANDS. Yes the exercises above will help to strengthen your thighs. If the IT band isn’t relaxed it will continue to pull the knee joint inward. Make sure you roll 4-5 times a week for the first 2-3 weeks to really get them loosened up. After that, you can decrease it to 2-3 times per week.
Place the foam roller on the ground and lie on your side with your hip just under it, as shown in the image to your right. If you want to reduce the pressure of the foam roller on your thigh you can place your other leg over the knee and on the ground to give yourself more support (also shown in the picture to the right). In addition to your foot you can also use your arms to lift yourself off the ground to take the pressure off the foam roller. Use your arms and legs to move the foam roller along your thigh, from your hip down to your knee. Any areas that are sore or tight can be given some extra attention. Over time these exercises will help to loosen and stretch your ITB and help to relieve the pain caused by Iliotibial Band Syndrome (source).
Knock knees can cause some serious problems for your body over time. The continuous misalignment of the knee and hip joints can cause joint damage, and non stop irritation and pain. These exercises can help you get back on track by correcting some long term issues. My suggestion for anyone with severe joint problems is to seek instruction from a very qualified personal trainer. It is always worth to the money to hire someone to help you strengthen your body. Please feel free to write in with any questions you might have as well.
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