Pilates and your knees

Pilates is often thought of as solely focused on “the core” and restricting that to a region somewhere in the trunk near the belly button. But you need to think much broader than that. Pilates is about control, co-ordination, strength and good form, which simply means recruiting the right muscles at the right time in the right way.

Inner thigh muscles are often overlooked when dealing with the knee

When we think of the knee and knee problems, most of the attention is given to the muscles that cross the knee joint, such as the hamstrings or quads. But Pilates also pays attention to the inner thigh muscles – the thigh adductors – that can be often overlooked when dealing with the knee.  These muscles are a direct link from the pelvis to the thigh and can affect your knee position while walking and running. Also, good abdominal control can’t support your pelvis or legs if your thigh adductors are weak, or lack stamina or good motor control.

Mat exercises with the magic circle can help build strength and stamina in these muscles. In this video you can see Paul conducting variations of this exercise. The focus, of course, is on learning how to maintain a neutral spine while moving the lower limbs, which helps integrate “core stability” with lower limb movement.

knee pain
woman practicing stretching exercise on reformer in gym

A more challenging exercise is standing leg slide, which helps you learn how to use these muscles dynamically.  Finally when you’ve mastered these movements your strength and co-ordination can be challenged in a variety of ways, for example by including hamstring challenges like hip hinge exercises.


Want to know more?

You can learn more about the MOH approach to knee pain and improving hip function by checking out blogs in the MOH knee series;

For more information, ideas and exercises check out our Health Tips blog.

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