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Posterior chain

5 best ways to improve knee pain.

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5 best ways to improve knee pain.

Nothing will make you feel old like a bum pair of knees. Walking can be a laborious. Climbing stairs resembles climbing some snow-covered mountain. Even sitting and standing can become an Olympic event.

Maybe you want to start exercising to take off some lbs so you can save your knees. Not a bad plan until you follow a bad plan.

Following the wrong program when you have bad knees will absolutely make them worse!

I am going to go over each in more detail, but the 5 strategies are:

  1. Remove/modify pain stimulus - this often means things like squats, lunges, running and jumping need to be tabled or altered.

  2. Soft Tisse Mobilization (STM) - this is a $2 word for massage. Issues with your quads, IT bands, hamstrings, adductors and calfs need to be addressed.

  3. Ankle mobility - when your ankles do not move, your knees try to move more to compensate. This is bad news for your knees.

  4. Hip-dominant movements - this serves two purposes. It assists #1 and it builds up a part of your body that is probably weak to begin with.

  5. Deloaded knee-dominant movements and controlling knee valgus - all the squats and lunges and running and jumping that we took away in the beginning are brought back to finish your rehab.

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5 best strategies to manage low back pain.

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5 best strategies to manage low back pain.

Low back pain (LBP) is common. Way too common. Treating it is difficult as there are often many factors contributing to your pain. The strategies I am going to share are meant to improve your situation. At worst, they should do nothing, meaning they will not make it worse.

All of the strategies will have multiple videos to help guide you through the process. These are strategies I have used with both clients and patients to not just manage, but ultimately resolve their LBP.

I am going to go over each in more detail, but the 5 strategies are:

  1. Supine deloading - I will also share how to deload in sitting and standing

  2. Core stabilization - it’s not so much what you do but HOW you do it

  3. Glute exercises - in general, when the glutes are strong there are less issues with the knees and low back

  4. Hip mobility - when the hips are tight, there tends to be more movement through the low back to compensate

  5. Hip hinge - poor awareness and understanding of how to properly bend at the hips will routinely flare up the back

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Single-leg hamstring drops w/ ball (video).

Single leg hamstring drops w/ ball.

For now, this one if the grand daddy of the hamstring drop family. 

Set up with your feet under something that will not move. A dumbbell rack works great but not all are low enough to the ground. 

I have used a standing hamstring curl machine to perform hamstring drops when the DB rack was not an option. See below.

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Did I just make hamstring drops harder (video)?

Set up with your feet anchored under a dumbbell rack or other solid structure that will not move. Focus on bracing the abs, staying tall throughout the motion and not bending at the hips. Perform the hamstring drop with only one leg on the way down and both legs coming back up. Try to keep the emphasis on the hamstring, not the arms and shoulders. The upper body is definitely assisting the movement, but the hamstrings should be the focus. Enjoy.

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Brutal hamstring exercise (video).

This will punch your hamstrings right in the mouth. Set up with both knees bent, feet flat on the ground with a slider under one of your feet. Lift the foot that is not on the slider off the floor. Perform a single-leg bridge with the other leg. Once at the top of the motion, straighten the knee by sliding the foot away from the body. When the knee is extended, keep the hips on the floor, bend the knee and start again with the single-leg bridge.

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Pullthroughs - a better way? (video)

This is a great alternative if using some attachment for the hands increases back pain or you find yourself pulling too much with the arms. Start by setting the pulley so it is around hip-height. Set the strap so it goes around the front of your hips. Set and brace your neutral spine position. Focus on keeping pressure through the heels and sitting back through the hips. To return to the start position, squeeze the glutes and push the hips forward. Avoid overextending the hips and straightening the body as this will cause you to lose your balance and fall back.

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