Observing Proper Knee Mechanics: Dynamic Lower Body Exercise

IG Lateral Jump Tracking
Tracking Myles’ hip and knee angles during the lateral jump using Dartfish Software.

Progressing to Dynamic Exercise Post ACL Injury

Proper knee mechanics are critical when performing dynamic exercises. Practicing proper knee mechanics can benefit anyone from the casual exerciser to the elite athlete, and especially those recovering from injury. It not only prevents possibility of injury or reinjury during everyday exercise but also promotes efficient technique for those participating in competitive sports. In order to incorporate additional challenge to these exercises, we included a Sports Cord for added resistance. If you do not have access to a Sports Cord, these exercises can easily be done without one. The following video clips are just a few examples of proper and poor knee mechanics during dynamic exercise.

Lateral Runs with Sportcord

Below is an example of proper knee position when performing Lateral Runs. Notice how the athlete’s knees are in line with his feet as he comes in and out of the brief squatting position. The knee is medial to the foot but the knee is NOT inwardly rotated.

Backward and Forward Pedaling with Sportcord

With the backward and forward pedaling while using the sport cord, there is a great deal of hip control involved. Not only are you improving hip control by performing these exercises, but you are also working on foot speed.

Lateral Jumps: Good vs. Bad Knee Mechanics with Sportcord

In the comparison of these two clips of the lateral jump, we can observe the amount of knee valgus (knee collapse) as the athlete lands and prepares for the jump. In the clip on the right you will observe the improper knee strategy being utilized by the athlete. As he begins to take off you can observe how both knees collapse inwards prior to take off. This inefficient knee mechanic will lead to added stress on the knee which could potentially lead to injury.

Ski Jumps with Sportcord

The left example of the ski jump below shows an ideal knee position in relation to the foot. Notice that the athlete is under control and balanced due to the foot and knee relationship. The clip on the left is an example of what not to do when performing the ski jump. As the athlete swings the back leg behind the stance leg it causes unwanted rotation of the torso, hip and knee. Not only does it cause the rotation but also a pushing out of the hip which is not ideal.

Single Leg Squat with PVC Pipe and Sportcord

A single leg squat using a PVC pipe is another great exercise to incorporate into your workout regimen that will promote strong knee mechanics. The additional stability of the PVC pipe provides you with a better opportunity to control the knee throughout the movement.

Additional Lower Body Exercises

The following exercises are some additional exercises that you can incorporate into your workout regimen. These exercises were provided and demonstrated by one of the Bare Hills Fitness Club personal trainers, Truet Purnell.

Poliquin Step Up

Calf Press

45 Degree Trunk Extension

Prone Unilateral Leg Curl

Trap Bar Deadlift

For more effective exercises, schedule an appointment with us: CALL: (443)-213-0395 or E-mail us at: DAVE@IMPACT-Fellowship.com