We all know that men and women are different, even in how we exercise. Add to those differences the fact that women are more likely to suffer knee injuries. The difference is structural; the width of our child bearing hips angles the thigh bone (femur) in such a way that it creates some laxity and instability in the knee joint. Not to mention the ebb and flow of hormones women experience monthly can affect knee stability too.
One way to protect your knees is to strengthen your hips, or anatomically speaking your glute med – the muscle that fills in the side of your pelvis (see an image of the muscle here). Having strong glute meds helps to control the thigh bone, which then helps to stabilize the knee joint. Sounds like a win/win situation to me.
To see how to strengthen your hips, just
Side Squats with Theraband
- Tie a resistance band around your ankles. Start with red/medium band and work your way up to green/heavy.
- Begin standing with feet directly underneath your hips.
- Squat halfway down and side step to the right as far as you can manage.
- Bring left leg toward right, returning to your starting position.
- Step to the right 10 times, then reverse stepping to the left 10 times. Repeat for 3 sets.
Fit's Tips: This is a great exercise for runners and can help prevent patellofemoral pain, aka pain on the outside of the knee. Couple this with rolling out your IT band and you will be good to go. Preventing injuries means you log more miles and stay on the road!