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If your knees get sore during or shortly after a workout, the fix can be as easy as adding 1 minute to the pre-workout stretch or post workout routine.



Because of both the large response in typical athletes in the growth of the quads and the glutes and because of the incredible hormone response from the high-intensity workouts that are a part of MMA and Martial arts, there appears to be an increase in the condition of upper leg imbalance that is becoming somewhat routine in my clinic. In essence, the quads are OVERSTRONG in ratio to the hamstring strength.


When this becomes imbalanced, typically I will see a low grade patellar tendon hypertonicity or tendonitis. Pain to the lower area of the knee cap especially when the athlete has the knees bent (as is common at work, school desk or in the car) becomes increasingly annoying and occasional debilitating.   Add to this the age group for a lot of the clientele at Arts of Defense – 10-19 yrs – and age where huge growth spurts add an even higher amount of pressure to the knees and common diagnoses like OsGood Schlatters, and Patellar Tendonitis spring up and the importance of muscle balance gains importance.



These often are very reversible and easy conditions to fix and should also show an increase in performance as the body gets back into the preferred ratio. To fix this issue, add some easy quad stretches (I prefer Active Isolated Stretch {AIS}) and hamstring strengthening exercises. To add to that advice, don’t waste time strengthening the hams with traditional machinery, bending the knee with weights attached low will most likely just irritate the tendonitis anyway and the beef of the hamstring is at the proximal end near the glutes. I prefer lying prone with your knees bent and the heels digging into a chair. Get situated so the knees are at 90 degrees and use the hamstrings and lower glutes to do a hip thruster. Go slow, activate the big part of the hamstring and glutes. Put your hands right where the glutes and hams come together  to make sure you are making the hams fire.






















These are easy and in a few short days, you’ve stretched the quads and re-activated the hamstrings so that the balance and ratio are getting back to the right state. 2 sets of 10 are all you’ll need. It seems that classic training seems to only address one aspect, stretch or strengthen. I’m saying do both to get the fastest, most efficient results.


As I stated before, there is no one reason why the quads are growing faster and at a quicker rate than the hamstring. More than likely it is any one or a mix of the following: technique, form, hormone response, genetics (muscle composition) or just that High Intensity Work workouts wake up the lower body better than most programs and there is a focus on squatting in a lot of exercises. This will elicit a greater quad response. Most likely it is a combination of all these factors.


If you suffer from this issue, try the techniques I explained and see if you don’t respond quickly and see performance improvements. Add just one focused, effective exercise and reap the results!

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