Art Montage yoga Hot Barre has a lot to offer to correct knee misalignment; plies and grand plies are especially effective.
Our bodies are predisposed to injuries of the extensor mechanism because the hip joints are wider than the knees in a neutral standing position. The natural Y-shaped configuration to the leg bones promotes uneven contraction of the quadriceps, and problems such as hyperextension of the knees make these natural imbalances even worse. As a result, when we contract the quadriceps to straighten the leg, the unevenness of the contraction tends to pull the kneecap to the outside, thanks to the greater pull of the outermost quadriceps (the vastus lateralis).
The innermost quadriceps (the vastus medialis) is most responsible for counteracting this pull. This muscle tends to be weak and underused, while the outer thigh muscle tends to be stronger from overuse. So if you want to keep the knee healthy (i.e., tracking properly in its femoral groove), you need to learn to strengthen the vastus medialis. In fact, physical therapists consider exercises to strengthen this neglected muscle key in the rehabilitation of knee injuries.
Structural misalignments tend to limit the vastus medialis’ proper functioning–and can even weaken it in relation to the other quadriceps muscles, making it even harder to work with.
The Challenge of Working with the Inner Quad
First, don’t let the inner arch of your foot collapse, (fig 1) for this is a sign that your knee is turning inward too much. We sometimes compensate for this collapse by shifting weight to the outer edge of the foot, causing the inner heel to lift and moving the buttock back. ( Fig -2)But this stresses the outer knee and defeats the purpose of the posture. The challenge of aligning the knee is to keep your inner heel and big toe mound grounded while keeping the inner arch of the foot lifted. These two actions—grounding and lifting—will keep the knee from turning inward or outward too much. Lift your toes to help engage and lift the inner arch; as you bend your knees, draw the energy from the inner arch up through the calf to your inner knee, so that your knee remains directly over your heel and does not turn inward.
Second, make sure that the heel, kneecap, and hip joint of your legs are in the same plane by allowing a slight turn of the hips. To achieve this, when you get into the Grand- plie , pull your toes up and press firmly the root of your toes into the floor.( Fig-3). Let your outer hip descend toward the floor (as if you had something heavy in your hip pocket) as you lift energy from your inner arch up through your inner knee. This will make your leg spiral out as you bend it, until your heel, kneecap, and hip joint are all aligned.
The purpose of these actions in the bent legs is to ensure that all four quadriceps muscles are working harmoniously to stabilize the knee. As a result, the vastus medialis gets a much-needed workout that brings it into balance with the other quadriceps. To confirm this, gently pinch your thigh above the inner knee to check that the muscle there—the vastus medialis is as firm as the thigh muscles at the outer knee.