Exercises for Knock Knees

If your legs spread outward from your knees to the point where your ankles are far apart from each other and your knees are touching then you are considered knock kneed. This condition (also known as genu valgum) is common in small children but should outgrow it by the time they reach adulthood. The exercises for knock knees listed below can help correct this deformity by making certain muscles and knee joints stronger.

Why Knock Knees Exercises Can Work

Weakened lower body posterior chain muscles are usually linked to knock knees. By strengthening the posterior chain muscles (especially the glutes such as the gluteus medius and gluteus maximus) it will help the genu valgum straighten out.

Pretty much your gluteus maximus (glutes), calves, lower back, and hamstrings make up your posterior chain muscles.

These muscles in the posterior chain are responsible for stabilizing the hip as well as hip abduction. This is vital because if these muscles are weak the hip will fall out and the knee will knee turn inward, and the ankle won’t properly stabilize itself – which describes knock knees in a nutshell.

With all that being said utilizing exercises that focus on making the hip stronger is necessary for knocked kneed correction. Here’s a great picture below to give you a visual of these muscles in the posterior chain and hip abductors:

knock knees exercises

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Exercises for Knock Knees

exercises for knock knees

Keep in mind that knock knees exercises are usually only helpful for those with mild genu valgum. If you are dealing with a severe case of knock knees then performing these exercises can help slightly, but won’t fully correct the bone deformity.

When doing these corrective exercises (especially for knock knees in adults) the key is to stay consistent in order for your knees to realign correctly and stabilize. Also, the cause of your knocked knee will play a huge role in how effective these exercises are at knock knee correction.

Side Lying Leg Raises

exercises to correct knock knees

  1. Begin this exercise by laying down on your left or right side.
  2. Make sure your legs are fully extended (one leg should be on top of the other) and your hand closest to the ground should be extended straight. Your opposite arm should be bent while your hand is placed on your hip.
  3. Now start one rep by elevating your leg that’s on top slowly as high as you possibly can manage.
  4. Now return your leg back down slowly and rest it on top of the other leg like you had it in the starting position.
  5. Do at least 10 reps of these to make one set.

These side lying leg raises are simple but for very effective for making the muscles like the gluteus medius stronger and helping to stabilize your hip, which is exactly what you want in order to fix knock knees.

Clamshells

  1. Begin this exercise to correct knock knees by laying down on your side with your legs on top of one another and bend your knees to a 45 degree angle.
  2. Keep your head on your the arm closest to the floor and place your arm that’s furthest from the floor (on the top) to keep your body steady.
  3. Now raise your upper knee as high as possible while keeping your ankles together. Your hips and pelvis should remain as steady as possible while doing this motion. Also, make sure your lower leg doesn’t get lifted off the ground.
  4. When your upper knee has reached as high as possible pause and keep it there for a second before returning it to the starting position.
  5. Perform 10 reps of this exercise to complete 1 set.

The clamshell is a great knock knee treatment because it strengthens your hip and really targets your glutes (gluteus maxium, gluteus minimus, and gluteus medius) and other important muscles in your posterior. Definitely include this effective hip and leg strengthening exercise in your routine.

Lateral Walks with Band on Ankles

exercises for knock knees in adults

Begin this exercise by placing a mini band around your ankles and stand up straight.

  1. Keep your knees bent a little while performing this exercise and try not to lock them out.
  2. Keep your feet apart and begin stepping to the right and then follow with your left foot. Make sure you feel some resistance from the band around your ankles as you take each step.
  3. Repeat the steps towards the right and then repeat the steps towards the left.

The lateral band walk is another one of the great exercises for knock knees because it builds more strength and stability in the hip abductors, glutes, and knees. Another variation of this exercise is called the “Penguin Walk”, which is also effective for correcting knock knees naturally. Check out the video below:

Hip Extensions

exercises for knock knees in children

  1. Begin this knock knees exercise by placing an ankle weight around your ankles. Make sure you start with a light weight and complete one rep before choosing heavier weights.
  2. Now get on your hands on knees and then bend one of your knees with the ankle weight to a 90 degree angle.
  3. You’ll then slowly lift up the leg that’s bent to a 90 degree angle along a straight line all the way up towards the ceiling.
  4. Repeat this motion for 10 reps and then switch to your other leg making sure it has ankle weights on it too.

This is one of the most effective exercises for knock knees because it works your glutes and helps stabilize your hips. If you don’t feel comfortable (or if you just don’t have any) using ankle weights then don’t use them and perform this exercise without them.

Eventually as you build up strength in your posterior muscles and hips try wearing the weights to help you build even more strength. Check out the video below:

Another way to perform this exercise is to stand up and extend your hips.

  1. Begin by standing behind a chair or a table.
  2. Hold onto the table or chair so you can have some support.
  3. Tighten up your core and extend your legs outward toward your back.
  4. Do at least 10 reps and then repeat this motion with your other leg.

Take a look at the video below that demonstrates how to properly perform a standing hip extension exercise:

Hip extensions whether standing or laying down are a great way to strengthen a weak hip and glutes, which as we explained earlier is usually associated with knocked knees.

Russian Hamstrings

how to fix my knock knees

  1. To start this exercise get on your knees and align your shoulders, torso, and hips so that your body forms a line that’s straight.
  2. If you have a weight bench (a weight bench would be ideal) place both feet under it. If you don’t have a weight bench no problem just have someone get behind you and hold your ankles down.
  3. Now bring your hands up to shoulder level by bending your arms at your elbows. You’ll know you’re doing this right when your upper arms at the sides of your body and your elbows are pointing downward.
  4. Make sure your back is as straight as possible and then tighten up your hamstrings and glutes while slowly lowering your body toward the ground.
  5. Make sure you don’t bend at your hips and avoid dropping your body to the ground. Try to fight gravity and keep your body in as straight a line as you can manage.
  6. Finally, when you can’t lower your body any more release the tension in your glutes and hamstrings and drop down to the ground making sure you use your hands to break your fall.
  7. Repeat.

This is one of the best exercises for knock knees because it will help build strength in your hamstrings and glutes. Additional it will help stabilize your hips which will help straighten out your knees. Check out the video below:

A few of exercises for knock knees listed above can be performed with a resistance band or weights to help work and strengthen your glutes, hips, and other muscles in your posterior chain even more. However, make sure you master the basic technique first before you begin adding weights, resistant bands, and stability balls with these exercises. By strengthening these specific muscles by using simple exercises it’s possible to correct the problem¬†without knock knee surgery.

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