Jake Berman

"Weekly Health Tips From Physical Therapist Dr. Jake Berman..."

Use the Form Below to Get Them All Sent to You for FREE

Knees Out—You’re Doing It Wrong

Femur

Hey, it’s Dr. Berman again!

Let’s talk about working out. If you’re the type of person who’s constantly in the gym and works with a trainer or coach (like I do!), pay close attention this week!

Have you ever been told by your coach or trainer to push your knees “out” while squatting or deadlifting? As working out (both alone and in group classes) becomes more popular, cues like “knees out” are being used more and more frequently. But what does “knees out” really mean, and how can you do it correctly?

When trainers and coaches says “knees out,” they are not actually referring to your knees-they mean your femur. The femur, or thighbone, is the largest bone in the body:

When your trainer tells you to get your “knees out,” they’re trying to get you to externally rotate the femur. The most common mistake people make is trying to push their knees out WITHOUT rotating the femur. Doing this will make you lift your foot off the floor, thereby losing the tension through the hip and foot. Not good! Take a look at the WRONG way to push your knees out:

When your trainer tells you to get your “knees out,” they’re trying to get you to externally rotate the femur. The most common mistake people make is trying to push their knees out WITHOUT rotating the femur. Doing this will make you lift your foot off the floor, thereby losing the tension through the hip and foot. Not good! Take a look at the WRONG way to push your knees out:

Not what we want at all!

The femur has to be involved in order to maintain proper positioning.

When externally rotating the femur, we activate all the outside hip muscles, which creates stability and allows the entire leg to work like it’s supposed to. And stability is EXTREMELY important!

Imagine trying to run on sand instead of on firm ground-the beach is much less stable, which makes it infinitely harder to run on. The same is true with “knees out.” If you aren’t rotating your femur, you’re losing all your stability, and putting yourself at risk.

Here’s a nice STABLE position that you should strive for:

See the difference? The key is in the knees!

Dr. Jake Berman

PT, DPT at Berman Physical Therapy
Jake graduated with highest honors from University of Florida, earning his Undergraduate Degree in Health Science.

He went on to finish the University of Florida Physical Therapy Doctoral program. Following graduation, he practiced two years at Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Destin, FL, learning the complex philosophy of Primal Reflex Release Technique under Bob Seton. Before deciding to open his own practice, Dr. Berman furthered his education by practicing at Innovative Therapy Solutions in Jacksonville, FL, specializing in Functional Manual Therapy™ with Aaron Robles.

A lifelong resident of Naples, Jake opened the doors of Berman Physical Therapy is the very proud father of two dogs, Yeti (the office therapy dog!) and Brady. When he's not spending time with his dogs or his beautiful wife, Jenni, you can find Jake golfing or spending time outdoors.
Dr. Jake Berman

You Might Also Like...

Scroll Up
Share This