Runners Forum banner

1 - 10 of 10 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Ok, bear with me on this one!

I've got a longstanding (about 4 years) injury to my left knee - partly football, party running. At the beginning of last year I tried to push myself too hard which hurt the knee so, with the exception of one duathlon I didn't do any running for most of last year. The duathlon last year with offroad so MT run and only 2*2 miles so I thought I would be alright. I was, my knee wasn't.

The race caused problems which meant that for a long time afterwards I ended up almost limping rather than walking - and given that I walk to work (6 miles each day) it's a rather lot of limping!

Beginning of this year I went to a physio who said I had minor cartilage damage to the knee and some 'muscle inbalance' in the leg but it wasn't anything serious so I was free to run. I am resigned to the fact that my knee is going to hurt, I can live with that. What I can't live with is the muscle inbalance - i.e. my left leg muscles are weaker than my right. I can, and do, go to the gym to strengthen the muscles (quads especially). The issue is that my left leg has now retrained itself to 'limp' slightly and it doesn't lift as much as my right either when I'm running or walking. This is now causing me hamstring problems.

So does anyone have any hints on how I can 'retrain' my left leg to lift properly?? Does this post even make sense :confused:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
I'd have thought the physio would give you some indication on which muscles are imbalanced and how to go about addressing the imbalances... just to say "you have some muscle imbalances" sounds a bit airy fairy to me :confused:

I had a biomechanical assessment done, being video'd on a treadmill - afterwards I was taken through the video, and has explained to me what the body was doing at what point, pointing out any problems with my gait. I was then given a series of exercises to specifically address the muscles that were imbalanced and letting me down.

When I get home I'd be happy to send you a copy of the exercises that were suggested to me, though whether this will solve your problem I've no idea! I don't think basic squats etc will correct the imbalances, some of the exercises I've been doing seem to target muscles I wasn't even aware existed!!! lol.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
Muscle imbalances can be the route of injury in lots of sports.

A good Physio would have given you an exercise regime to follow to get you on the right path.

Split squats (like lunges but one leg at a time) are a very good exercise. Use the weaker leg first and equal the same number of reps with the stronger leg.

http://www.exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadriceps/DBSingleLegSplitSquat.html

the above is infact a variation called the Bulgarian split squat. For a normal split squat, the trailing leg is not elevated.

Notice how the girl in the GIF keeps good posture and her knee does not go past her toes during the movement at any time! This will avoid stress on it!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the replies - very useful.

To be fair to the physio my finances meant it was only a 15 minute appointment that was focused on identifying injuries. At the time I was more concerned that there was no ligament damage and to be given a green light to start running again. She did say that my left quad was weak - probably because my left leg doesn't lift as much as my right anymore.

I guess I haven't really thought about 'other' muscles - I only really think of legs as having calves, quads, hamstrings and thighs :confused:

Thanks again guys.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
Indeed, that's and probably more than a lot of people know... but have a peak at this image and you'll soon see there's plenty of muscles that can throw your gait and lead to injury :confused: and that's not even all of them!



I guess probably one of the best things to do is to just search leg strengthening exercises, specifically ones that isolate one leg at a time; this way you don't allow one leg to compensate for the weakness in the other.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
fandango said:
Thanks for the replies - very useful.

To be fair to the physio my finances meant it was only a 15 minute appointment that was focused on identifying injuries. At the time I was more concerned that there was no ligament damage and to be given a green light to start running again. She did say that my left quad was weak - probably because my left leg doesn't lift as much as my right anymore.

I guess I haven't really thought about 'other' muscles - I only really think of legs as having calves, quads, hamstrings and thighs :confused:

Thanks again guys.
Others to look at are step-ups and one leg squat.

If training in a gym, dont use the leg extension unless its the teardrop muscle of the quad thats out of balance or it is prescribed by your physio. Its a crap exercise and may cause more imbalances.

Use the leg press with one leg at a time...the weaker leg first!

SJ
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
13,089 Posts
aye... and in terms of working on quads... I've read in quite a few places that this can lead of imabalances of quads vs hamstrings, so make sure you work those hammies too ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
richardsimkiss said:
aye... and in terms of working on quads... I've read in quite a few places that this can lead of imabalances of quads vs hamstrings, so make sure you work those hammies too ;)
there an all round guff exercise unless you are a bodybuilder and want to specifically work the teardrop muscle of the quad/lower quad and add detail. ...Otherwise they are not very "functional".

Things like squats (one leg squats for the OP) and lunges/Bulgarian split squats are much better as the work the entire leg via a natural or "functional" movement and can be done anywhere with no equipment or very minimal equipment if you need extra resistance! A barbell or dumbells do fine!

I hope this is of use, else just ignore my ramblings on! :rolleyes:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
56 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks again guys, all very useful stuff :d

I tried the Bulgarian split squat today and found it difficult to keep my knee from going beyond the toe - practice will make perfect though!

Scarbib_jack said:
If training in a gym, dont use the leg extension
Again very useful advice. I have been using it a fair bit because one of the PTs in the gym said it would be good for me. :mad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
143 Posts
fandango said:
Thanks again guys, all very useful stuff :d

I tried the Bulgarian split squat today and found it difficult to keep my knee from going beyond the toe - practice will make perfect though!



Again very useful advice. I have been using it a fair bit because one of the PTs in the gym said it would be good for me. :mad:
The trick with the split squats is to get set up properly. a bit of trial and error will have you sorted out ok and you will find your groove!

Heres a good example. This guy uses a massive Range of motion! http://youtube.com/watch?v=RZlodHgCipk

Most PT's are idiots and know eff all! Leg extentions are a last resort in my humble opinion.

SJ
 
1 - 10 of 10 Posts
Top