We all have seen someone with knocked knees (knee valgus) during a squat. Knee valgus is when the knee falls inward, this is characterized by hip adduction and internal rotation as the hip goes into a flexed position. Before you jump on someone for falling into knee valgus let’s ask ourselves, is knee valgus ok? There are 2 times I am ok with it. The first being if an individual is statically in a knee valgus position (large Q angle) and the knee valgus does not increase as they squat. The second being when it’s only at the very bottom of a squat to help get out of the hole, this often occurs because the adductors are helping with hip extension to get up. The adductors will adduct and internally rotate the hip.
If someone is falling into dynamic knee valgus while they are performing a squat, we should ask ourselves is this due to poor neuromuscular control. If the answer is YES! Check out these two exercises. Dynamic Knee Valgus has been associated with patellofemoral pain, ACL injuries, & IT Band syndrome and should be addressed when appropriate.
1 - Supine Clam Holds (2x60 second holds)
2 - Standing Clams (2x60 second holds)
After priming the gluteal muscles with these exercises, we want to see if there is a carryover. This is tested by re-assessing the squat! Not mentioned in this video, however, poor foot control, weak quadriceps, and inadequate dorsiflexion mobility can also feed into this poor movement pattern.