Lunges: The Cure to Runner's Knee And ITBS?

I know what you're thinking…

"I already do them before every run but I don't know if they're helping.

I don't feel like they're not doing anything because everything STILL hurts… I don't understand them."

I bet you've also tried foam rolling your quads.

Definitely your IT band.

And it all might have helped initially but now…you're not seeing any improvement.

So you took the next step, googled some runner's knee exercises that included a bunch of squats and lunges…

….and meh.

So does anything actually work???

Yes, I promise.

You're even on the right track if you've added those lunges to your strength work.

How do I know?

Recent research articles are backing you up!

So what went wrong then?

Together, let's find out and learn what small tweaks and adjustments we can make RIGHT NOW to your lunge so you can maximize your results and kick that knee pain and ITBS to the curb for good.

Sound good? Let's get started.



Back It Up....

Let's start with a little background information.


Most runners who develop some kind of knee pain, most commonly called patella femoral pain syndrome, assume that because their knee hurts, they should strengthen their knee.

*rewinding the tape sound effects*

Not so fast.

The knee is a joint.

We can't strengthen a joint.

What we can do, is strengthen the muscles that surround that joint and create support.

Great! So all we need to do is strengthen all the muscles directly around the knee joint?

Nope.

I know, sort of a trick question. But I don't make the anatomy-rules.

Let's pull some quotes from our research article (so you know I'm not making this up):

"Two of the most common running-related injuries are Patellar Femoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS; Runner's knee) and ITBS….

"Souza & Powers reported that runners with PFPS had greater peak hip internal rotation angles, reduced hip torques, lower (glute max) GMAX and (glute med) GMED isotonic strength and greater GMAX activation compared to pain-free runners. It has also been reported that female runners with PFPS had significantly less GMAX activation and hip extensor endurance which they speculated led to the observed increase in internal rotation.

"Previous authors also have suggested that the main biomechanical factors that may put a runner at increased risk for iliotibial band syndrome (ITBS) are excessive hip adduction and internal rotation, and knee internal rotation and abduction during the stance phase.

"Deficiencies in GMAX and GMED activation are potential etiological factors in injured runners who demonstrate biomechanical flaws linked to possible muscle weakness and/or inactivation…"