Have you started to focus a little more on your Quads? If you have knee pain, it ultimately will come down to this, and if you don’t it’s the ultimate knee injury prevention strategy!
And while it is true that other aspects of the knee may also get in the way of a happy knee (e.g. poor movement control, training error, ligamentous instability, and joint surface changes, and more), ultimately the quality of your Quads will determine long term knee grumpiness. We will deal with some of these other things (that we can change) in the future.
But don’t let these issues stop you digging deep, and doing the hard work of getting quality quads. Thats what you CAN do, what you can control.
R1 Tension from Trigger Points in Quads - Heel to Butt
First question is: how tight and / or tense are your quads? Is there an appreciable difference in restriction from grumpy knee to happy knee? Is it hard to get your heel to your butt - are you even close?
The R1 for a muscle is an angle measurement that will tell you how much tension it is under. For the Quads, it is the first tension you sense as you bring your heel to your butt. Lie down and try it: swing your foot gently back up towards your butt and see how close you get. Ideally you want an even amount of freedom on this movement between L and R, and certainly on your grumpy knee this is critical to improve!
If you are tense on one side, you are likely to be riddled with tender lumpy spots are you in your Quad. Go digging to find out. Deep digging. Do some of the lumps make you jump?
Trigger Points in the Quad causes tension that pulls the patella north to the hip, and laterally towards the outside knee. Therefore the knee cannot easily bend without tension, the patella is restricted in movement, and compressed onto the groove underneath that it slides in.
This assessment of R1 is on our video today, with more info on trigger points and why they are so bad for your knee!
In summary today, first element is to accurately assess your own Quads with a view to achieving:
Good mobility of Quad (anterior thigh) and ITB (lateral thigh), and
Free of trigger points in Quad - “landmines" hiding in your quads causing tension and inhibition.
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