Did you know that one can alter the degree of knee or hip contribution in many of the traditional lower limb exercises by changing the angle of the shin relative to the ground or the torso relative to the ground?

In the video above you will see an example of where a change in the angle of the shin relative to the ground will bias more or less load towards the knee or hip. Below I have tried to simplify this for you.

  • More hip load = vertical shin position relative to the ground (less knee flexion)
  • More hip load = trunk bends forward more to create more hip flexion.
  • More knee load = knee travels forward towards to the knees (more knee flexion0
  • More knee load = less trunk flexion

So what exercises can you apply these strategies to:

  • Deadlifting
  • Squatting
  • Lunges
  • Step up

In some cases I will deliberately cue the client to perform it one way for the following reasons:

  • To allow an individual to perform a movement that is pain free i.e. anterior knee pain is commonly aggravated by knee load. So a more hip dominant movement may allow them to perform this with less or no pain.
  • When I am wanting to bias load towards specific tissues to create a more focused training effect i.e. if I am needing to develop quadricep muscles, I will cue more knee load.
  • When there is a need to train a specific movement that is task specific and requires that movement.

Next time you are performing a deadlift, squat, step up or lunge, take a look at how you are performing the movement and assess your current strategy and compare left to right sides of the body.

For those of you who are currently exercising and are dealing with a musculoskeletal complaint, if you are not sure whats going on or would like some advice around what you can do to help yourself, book a time to see one of us at Principle Four Osteopathy.

Principle Four Osteopathy is located on Level 4 at 178 Collins St Melbourne City CBD 3000. We have a team of osteopaths available for appointments Monday – Friday. Book online or give us a call on 0396709290 if you have any questions.