Rule No.1 Knee Above Foot (part 2)
So in part 1 I discussed your knee being above your foot from an anterior or front view now I am going to look at the importance of knee above foot from the side view. This is just as important as particularly if your knee is in front of your toes there is a huge amount of stress placed on both the muscles and tendons but also the cartalige at the front of the knee. And it is particularly common that people over stress this area when coming down stairs. In fact the vast majority of my Osteoartritis clients say that coming down stairs is the one activity that hurts most. Amongst runners it is a lot less common for the knee to be beyond the toes at the critical point in the movement. It is more common that a runner will heel strike meaning that the knee is behind the foot at the point of contact and loading with the ground and this causes different stresses in the knee, as well as potentially other areas of the body. Now whether you are a runner or a weight lifter or have arthritis in your knees and simply struggle to get up and down stairs there is a simple rule that will reduce stress on the knee, and that is 'knee above foot' but simply ensuring your knee is above your foot at the point of optimal stress isn't quite enough you also want your shoulder to be roughly above your knee and to achieve this on most movements you need to bend/flex more at the hips. this enables you to create a centre of balance over the foot. This is fairly simple physics if you place too much weight on the end of a long arm of a crane it will topple or break, obviously a little more complicated with the body but the same principal applies. I hope the video and pictures below demonstrate both the good and the bad in a way you can understand.
If your shoulders are too far back whether you are going up or down stairs, running or squatting you will put too much stress on the knee or muscles elsewhere to compensate for being off balance. As I said at the end of the previous article you can try to make modifications to your own technique but it is always a good idea to use an experienced professional who can guide you to move more effectively.
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