Friday, July 10, 2009

Is the Kneebone Really Connected to the Foot Bone?

Here is a debate that has been plaguing man for centuries; Is it O.K. to have your knee go past your toes during squat and lunge type exercises?

The answer is (drum roll please) YES it is O.K.
I will give you a minute to catch your breath, before we continue.

You can have your knees extend past your toes as long as the knee is stable. If I have a young client with strong ankles and knees this is a safe maneuver. On the other hand, For one of my seniors whose balance is mediocre at best , this is not a good idea.

Another point to consider is the exercise itself. Squats with a lot of weight may not be suitable because the legs may wobble slightly under the load. Once the legs wobble, the stress on the knee increases to hold the position. (Here is another good example of being sure you can control the weight you are lifting)

Squats in the smith machine, however, are a bit safer to extend out with the knee because you partially lean on the bar, and your feet are farther out in front of you.

I had a friend of mine ask me recently how can ballroom dancers extend their knees so far out past their toes and not be injured. There are two answers:
  • their bodies have become accustomed to it after years of training
  • their knee is only extended past the toe for a second as they flow on to the next movement.
Now! I promise, no more posture related blogs for a while. I will get off my soap box.

If you have any questions about fitness, please feel free to leave a comment.

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