How to avoid stress on the knee joints in bodybuilding and how does iron strengthen the ligaments? 10 minutes of time and you will change the idea of bodybuilding. Recently, there has been a trend in powerlifting to work with maximum weight while using the shortest trajectory. Athletes are constantly looking for new techniques, for example, increasing the arc of lifting of a sports equipment in the press and using ballet shoes when performing deadlifts. The biggest transformation, however, was the squat transformation.
Assistive equipment is constantly improving, and the rules for knee flexion strength have become more democratic. All of this has resulted in deep squats now being more like barbell bends.
This leads to minimization of the load on the quads and powerlifters in this way try to exclude leg work from this exercise as much as possible. In turn, this leads to a violation of the harmonious development of the quadriceps, which increases the risk of injury to the knee joints. Let's take a look at how deep bodybuilding squats and knee health are related.
Many coaches want to tailor the training program as much as possible to the needs of their sport, which as a result does not allow all the muscles in the body to develop. For example, it is very important for volleyball players to jump high and to develop this skill they often do not deep squats. Of course, this will increase the strength of the jump, but the muscles do not develop evenly, which as a result can cause tendonitis of the knee joint.
To correct muscle imbalances, one training program has been created that makes it possible to perfectly work out the medial muscles of the thigh. This muscle is located above the knee joint and is V-shaped. This muscle is very important for stabilizing the knee joint and, if well developed, can significantly reduce the risk of knee injury. Among the representatives of various sports, these muscles are best developed in weightlifters. This program is called VMO training.
Essentials of VMO Training for Healthy Knees
Squats are the main exercise for developing the muscles of the legs, and to work out the medial muscles, the athlete can use a specific position of the feet, focus on the lower point of the range of motion, or a combination of both. The work of the leg muscles is greatly influenced by receptors located on the soles of the feet. They are very sensitive to pressure and for this reason take an active part in proprioception. If you transfer the main load to the toes, then the medial muscles of the thigh will be maximally involved in the work. Shifting the emphasis of the load on the toes is easily achieved thanks to the narrow position of the legs and the simultaneous movement of the center of gravity of the body forward using any suitable object placed under the heels.
To maximize the use of the medial muscles, an increase in work in the lower position of the range of motion can be used. This is due to the fact that, together with the biceps of the hip, the medial muscles are also responsible for lifting. This is only possible when lifting from a deep squat. Knee injuries are common among strength athletes. Most likely, the main reason for this is the incorrect strength ratio between the quadriceps and hamstrings.In turn, this violation is a consequence of shallow squats, which are now very widespread among athletes.
In addition, this imbalance is influenced by a large number of partial movements performed, for example, lifting the bar to the chest from a hang. It is also believed by reputable sports scientists that shallow squats can weaken flexibility and propriocence. If you want to protect your knee joints, then you should pay close attention to the following two exercises.
Cyclist deep squats
This exercise is part of a training program for high-level cyclists reaching great heights in the sport. To do this squat variation, your feet should be 10 to 15 centimeters wide, and your heels should be on a bar.
It is best to use a wedge bar for this purpose, which allows you to reduce pressure on the heels. The greater the wedge angle of the bar, the greater the load on the medial muscles. Also, when doing the exercise, you can see that if you use a wedge bar, then the squat will become more vertical, which makes it possible to reduce the load on the buttocks. It should also be noted that when you use the wedge, the balance compared to the classic squat will be significantly different. It is best to do more warm-up sets than you usually do.
Deep One and Quarter Squats
This exercise is used by Olympic-level skiers and allows you to prepare your knee joints for critical situations in which they may find themselves at any time.
Go down for five seconds until you reach the lowest position of the trajectory. Then you should rise three quarters of the amplitude, at a slow pace, maintaining a smooth movement. After that, squat as low as possible again and at the same time control the movement.
When your hamstrings are in full contact with your calves, begin lifting until your knees are almost fully extended. This is one repeat.
Both exercises should be performed in 5 sets with 6-8 reps each. As you can see, the number of repetitions is quite small, which is associated with the presence of a greater number of fast fibers in the medial muscles in comparison with other muscles that make up the quadriceps.
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