Do your knees cave in towards each other during heavy lifts? This is called knee valgus and, while very common, is not something we want to tolerate in our workouts. Having knee valgus while lifting not only teaches muscles improper movements, but it also puts the tendons and ligaments around the knee at risk for injury!
There are many reasons why a caving in of the knee(s) could be happening and there are many ways to fix it using corrective exercises and simple verbal cues. One cause is a lack of strength in the gluteus medius muscle (think glute muscle of the top-side of the hip).
To help activate and strengthen the glute medius, we’ll use cues such as “gripping the ground” or “screwing your feet in”. This involves grabbing the ground (or the inside of your shoes) with your toes and lifting the arch of your foot off the ground. Make sure to keep your toes in contact with the ground and your arches up so you’re using your WHOLE foot during the lift.
This technique helps to move the weight from a collapsed arch –> to the toes and outside of the foot. Fixing your footing this way tells the gluteus medius muscles to engage, helping the knees turn a bit outward for better tracking.
If you fail to activate the feet, many times the arch will collapse under pressure, the knees will cave, and the lower back will have to compensate for a loss in leg strength.
Gripping the ground is something you want to incorporate in each standing lift. Furthermore, if you consider yourself “flat-footed” or think you have weak arches, you could also benefit from something like this in everyday standing and walking to strengthen the muscles of the arch of the foot and the toes. Not only will your lifts improve but you can help prevent other future pain in the foot and ankle, as well.
Happy and strong lifting!
Coach Andrea + Team Valeo
We are so honored to have won BEST OF THE BEST: HOLLAND for the personal training category and to have come in second in the gym category. We will continue to work to bring our members the best service and expertise in the fitness field. THANK YOU for all your votes and for walking (lifting!) along side us!! We are so grateful. 🙏