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On Knee Alignment

Knees take a shoeing.

Hang on, I can’t use that line!

I already used in my newest article for Mark de Grasse (formerly My Mad Methods).

Keep an eye out for that, I’ll have a link out as soon as I get notification it’s up.

But, it is true, knees get it from all sides. And it’s rarely their fault.

I’ve been confused about the knee for years. Almost everyone I know has had some sort of knee pain. Too many have had knee surgery.

And it never seemed that these people did anything to deserve it.

Fair enough, you take a heavy tackle on the rugby field, stack the mountain bike on the single track, take one two many roundhouse kicks or tap a little too late on the mat.

But just from running?


Doing squats?

Changing direction while running?

Knee injuries are the number 1 off the ball injury in almost all field sports.

It’d be safe to say we need to spend some time strengthening the joint.

Squatting is one of the number one ways to build more resilient knees.

And I’m a huge fan of all things squat.

And when I say squat, I mean your hamstrings meet your calves in the bottom position.

There are a multitude of ways to perform squatting actions:

  1. The resting squat, sometimes called the Asian squat.

  2. Bodyweight or “air squats”

  3. Hindu Squats

  4. Barbell Squats

  5. Goblet squats

  6. Pistol Squats

  7. Hack squats

the list goes on.

And as long as the body can keep good alignment, they are all safe to perform at high volume or at high intensity through their full safe range.

Yet this fact is still hotly debated across both the fitness field and the medical field.

Part of the problem is a lack of understanding of foot & ankle mechanics. Almost no one talks about what happens below the ankle, even though it’s the contact point with the earth in the vast majority of movements.

We spend a lot of time studying the hip, but little time on the foot.

if we better understand the foot mechanics, combined with an understanding of the hip, then the knee gets simpler and safer.

This video explains the “Two Triangle” theory I was taught by Mark Rasmus, an Australian Chinese Martial Arts expert, several years ago. I’d almost forgotten this until it was brought back to mind by the Anatomy in Motion method of studying movement.

It makes a shot load more sense than the “knee over 2nd toe” or the overly simple “knees out” cues.

Especially when you get how the foot & ankle complex works.

Have a look:

We all “get” that the hip has to flex and extend, internally and externally rotate, it is after a ball and socket.

picture courtesy of

picture courtesy of

What is missed is that this motion MUST be matched in the foot & ankle complex.

And it is a complex.

I’ll be writing more on that shortly.

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Dave Hedges

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