Functional Training Institute

WEDNESDAY WISDOM: Movement Sin – Medial Knee Pain

medial knee pain

In the last few posts we have explored how our neural system, muscular system and joints work together to create our movement habits, and what is required to re-wire neural pathways that are creating pathomechanics (poor biomechanics) – if you’ve missed these posts scroll to check them out so you can apply that knowledge to this next series of posts

In our next series we are diving into the **‘Movement Sins’ **(pathomechanics) we find in our clients movement and the muscle imbalances associated with those sins, as taught in our Movement Restoration Coach certification. There are 7 movement sins so strap in, this will take us quite a few weeks to cover!


MEDIAL KNEE (which we also commonly refer to Valgus Knee or Knee Cave in squats, lunges, even deadlifts).

A key muscle imbalance that causes this poor movement habit is:

Vastus Lateralis (VL) dominating the Vastus Medialis Oblique (VMO).

*Overdevelopment of the VL and weakness in the VMO commonly pulls the patella to sit off track and leads to knee pain alongside the medial knee sin. *

Another muscle imbalance that largely contributes to this movement issue is:

Tensor Fascia Lata (TFL) dominating the Gluteus Medius.

The TFL is responsible for internally rotating the hip and flexing the hip, so as this muscle becomes hypertonic it causes the femur to internally rotate and the hips to fall into an anterior tilt. These positions inhibit the Glute Med from firing adequately to stabilise and balance the hip, which also leads to a ‘trendy hip’ issue too – more on this in the coming weeks.

So to simplify…

Medial Knee is commonly caused by:

**A dominant TFL and VL taking over and inhibited VMO and Glute Med. **

What do we do improve this:

**1. **Release the dominant muscles – the TFL and VL.

– Hit the flexors and the outer quads with some muscle release. Personally I also like to add in adductor release here too to really help open the hips up.

  1. Activate the Glute Med and the VMO
  • There are so many ways to do this… clams, banded crab walks, squats and lunges..*

**3. **Use tactile and consistent verbal cues with regular practice to re-train the movement pattern so the knee tracks over the 3rd toes rather than caving in toward the big toes.

We’d love to hear from you – what’s your experience around this…

Is this a sin you struggle with?

Or do you have a lot of clients coming to you with a valgus knee pattern?

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