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Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs?

 

   


lgtri0526

Oct 8, 10 5:59

Post #1 of 12 (3822 views)
Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? Quote | Reply

I have been having persistent issues with my left knee and hip while running. Today in the gym I was attempting to do single leg squats and step downs. Right leg is fine, but my left leg gives out on me as soon as i start squating down. I know this is a sign of something (tight hips or weak glutes maybe). Any ideas? Also, how do I fix it?


moriatesg

Oct 8, 10 6:17

Post #2 of 12 (3797 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [lgallagher] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Usually do to an imbalance issue and also tight muscle issues. Work without weights and do slow and controlled movements. Working on perfect form and keep it up till you are comfortable and pain free.

Then and only then, add light weights. TP Therapy products will help loosen those tight muscles.
Greg C. Moriates
Owner/Coach
GCMendurance.com


joshovan

Oct 8, 10 8:12

Post #3 of 12 (3704 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [lgallagher] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

is it painful or is it just weakness that makes it give out? what has been the issue with your left knee/hip while running? any IT band issues? whats been the progression to the single leg squat? have you built up with regular squats or just went straight to single leg? the typical weakness if say your knee is moving inward and giving out is either of the gluteus muscles (butt) or vastus medialis (interior side of the quad muscles)


lschmidt

Oct 8, 10 8:58

Post #4 of 12 (3651 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [lgallagher] (Deleted by lschmidt) [In reply to]

 


dalbright

Oct 8, 10 9:43

Post #5 of 12 (3600 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [lgallagher] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

 Your symptoms point to gluteus medius inhibition. By being inhibited it causes the it band and other muscles to attempt to take over its role. The g-medius if contracted (concentric) is an external rotator of the femur, however its real importance lies in it's ability to control internal rotation of the femur eccentrically which is why its super important in running. When your body essentially forgets about the g-medius, structures such as you it-band try and take over among many other detrimental adaptations. weak g-medius leads can manifest as pain in a variety of locations, but the knee is a very common one. Overall glute weakness may also be present as well.

There are a variety of exercises to get everything firing again, but the issues are that it is very easy for your body to cheat and adapt to complete the task. You may not even be aware that you're doing it.

You want to be able to control your glutes properly first. You can sit on a chair or a bosu ball and place your hands under your butt to start. The goal is to be able to contract your "butt" without tightening up your hamstrings. Keep trying to do it until you can easily activate your right and left "cheek" indpendently without feeling your hamstrings tighten to assist at all, then your can move on to more advanced exercises such as a glute bridge while still focusing on keeping your hamstrings relaxed. You also need to focus on strengthening your gluteus medius independently as well. A quick google search will give you a lot of good rehab exercises, but they are easy to cheat at without knowning. Even though it is a more advanced exercise it is IMO harder to mess up without having someone there to know if your doing it properly. You basically take a band (rehab band) and place it around your legs either above or below the knees (or both if you have 2). You then with about a 45 degree bend in you step sideways without rising up. some refer to it as a crab walk, however there are a few similarly named exercises to that. If you're doing them properly you can feel it pretty quick.

>if you can't win, make the guy ahead of you break the record


lgtri0526

Oct 8, 10 10:47

Post #6 of 12 (3532 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [dalbright] [In reply to] Quote | Reply


Its just weakness that makes it give out. LIke I can go down slow and controlled with the right and the left after I get about 1/4 of the way down, i just drop. I just happened to be doing these to change things up. I do squats sometimes, but I didnt work up to these. I was doing them unweighted and then started to notice the difference in the two legs. As for my knee, I have had IT band issues and some runners knee.

Thanks for the information.



msuguy512

Oct 8, 10 11:06

Post #7 of 12 (3507 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [lgallagher] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I do the one legged squats on my stairs, so i at least land on a step and can use the wall to help guide myself a little bit. This way I can developed some strength and eventually do them without any help. It is hard to do a proper one legged squat initially if you have not trained for it.


jimcav

Oct 8, 10 11:08

Post #8 of 12 (3499 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [dalbright] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

dalbright has good advice. our CSCS works with lots of guys (runners mainly) with weak glutes. he uses the crab walk and also glute bridging--lay on back with knees bent, feet on floor, place 1 ankle up on other knee. with the leg that has the foot on the ground, contract the glute driving your pelvis up (helps to lift the toes and push heel into the ground). initially you may feel the hamstring contracting too (reach down and touch it--try to keep it loose like an old woman's tricep arm fat). start with small range of motion, do 3 sets of 15 reps each leg, you can increase how far you drive up and how long you hold it over time etc, but the idea is to do this lots of times (our guys do it 3 times a day at least) to teach your glutes to fire properly

good luck
jim

also with 1 leg squat, if you are alongside a bench, if your heels are at the plumb line of the bench edge, move the foot you are squatting on so that the ankle bone is lining up just behind the big toe, use small hand weights and extend you arms as you go down--this helps with balance--don't go to deep at frist or you may get a PFPS at your quad tendon. also focus on pushing through your heel, chest and head up


MTMTRI

Oct 8, 10 11:32

Post #9 of 12 (3460 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [jimcav] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

One of the articles in Triathlon magazine had a list of exercises that everyone shoule be able to do before doing long runs and one of the exercises was 25? single leg squats. I am in the same position my right leg is fine, my left leg is maybe 3 and then my knee is killing me. My left knee is always making a grinding sound, and I have done some work for Chondromalatia patellar tendonitis (sp) but I still have a terrible time with my left knee. I have been doing the Glute bridging recently but I only feel it in my hamstrings. How do you make the glutes do more of the work? If anyone has a link to some exercises I would appreciate.


msuguy512

Oct 8, 10 11:55

Post #10 of 12 (3429 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [dalbright] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I just tried the bridge and at first my hamstrings were firing like crazy. I think the trick is to pretend that you are using your quads instead of your hamstrings to extend your leg to keep the hamstring from firing while lifting. It seemed to work for me.


jimcav

Oct 8, 10 11:58

Post #11 of 12 (3421 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [MTMTRI] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

try glute bridge with both legs initially, don't try to push up too far, just focus on firing your glutes--maybe actually grab your hamstring and wiggle it while in the relaxed position and keep wiggling it as you fire the glutes--it takes hundreds of reps to re-train the glutes to fire without the hamstring also firing. lift our toes up and push through the heel as you fire the glutes


dalbright

Oct 8, 10 12:04

Post #12 of 12 (3410 views)
Re: Why can't i do single leg squats and step downs? [msuguy512] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

cheater! Glutes glutes glutes! Sounds like somebody is probably a quad dominant squater then too! But quads are a bit better than hamstrings...glutes are a pretty darn massive muscle and many people just don't use them properly or at all. You can end up with a lot of issues by just improper glute function. If you overuse your hamstrings you mess up pelvic motion and via fascia and ligaments you can end up with a great deal of back problems as well among other things. Keep working on it! It doesn't take that long to get them functioning properly. The muscle's there, your brain just needs to remember how to use it. You can also "poke" at the muscle while trying to fire it to increase the neurological input.

>if you can't win, make the guy ahead of you break the record

   
 
 
 



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