Corrective ExerciseMuscular Impairments

How Weak Abductors Contribute To Your Knee Problems

The Hip joint serves as a dominant kinesiologic role in the human body and any dysfunction to the arthrokinematics can alter and can cause great difficulty in basic movements of “walking, dressing, driving a car, lifting and carrying loads and climbing stairs.” (Neumann, 2010).

A very common dysfunction in the Human Movement System occurs due to an individual who possesses dynamic malalignment of the hip and knee causing one condition known as Lower Extremity Movement Impairment Syndrome.  This is typically displayed by an over pronation of the feet and inward knee bend upon bending. Click To Tweet (Clark and Lucett, 2010).  Someone who possesses lower extremity movement impairment syndrome typically has a weak or underactive gluteus maximus and medius muscles.  This syndrome leads to possible injuries that include, but not limited to anterior knee pain (Clark and Lucett, 2010).

Lower Extremity Movement Impairment Syndrome

This is typically displayed by an over pronation of the feet and inward knee bend upon bending. Click To Tweet

This is typically displayed by an over pronation of the feet and inward knee bend upon bending. Click To Tweet.  The stress moving down the kinetic chain to the knee create a dysfunction in the arthrokinematics of the patella and femur that fail to operate under a “optimal tracking” which occurs when movement is occurring across the greatest articular surface area of the patellafemoral joint (Neumann, 2008).


In a study by Ferber et al, 2011, Fifteen patients that had experienced Patellofemoral Knee Pain Syndrome(PFPS) due to an increased Q-Angle, underwent 3 weeks of hip abduction strengthening exercises to help minimize PFPS as compared to a control group who had no prior indication of PFPS.  Each of the participants in the testing group were active runners and the methodology of the study was to determine if increased strength in the abduction muscles would help minimize knee pain.  After a 3 week hip abduction strength training program, subjects in the test group reported a decrease in PFPS, even though the results of the Q-Angle did not change over time.  This study helped show how the importance of our hip abduction muscles helps maintain proper femoral kinematics leading to proper tracking of the patella in the trochlear groove (Ferber et al, 2011).

Strengthening Your Hib Abductors

https://youtu.be/YgNTpqcqaD0https://youtu.be/xqOQHAXJ6fU

Perform 1-2 Sets
10-15 reps each

Clark, Micheal, and Scott Lucett. NASM Essentials of Corrective Exercise Training. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2010. Pr

Neumann, D. (2010). Kinesiology of the musculoskeletal system. St. Louis, MO: Mosby, Inc.

Khamis, Sam and Yizhar, Ziva. Effect of feet hyperpronation on pelvic alignment in a standing position.  Gait and Motion Analysis Laboratory, Tel Aviv Medical Center, Israel.  2006.

Ferber, Reed, PhD,ATC,CAT©, Kendall, Karen MKin,CAT©,Far, Lindsay.  Changes in Knee Biomechanics After Hip Abduction Strengthening Protocol For Runners with Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.   Journal of Athletic Training, 2011.  46(2): 142-149.


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2 thoughts on “How Weak Abductors Contribute To Your Knee Problems

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