I’m sure you agree that we have spent a good amount of energy trying to improve our Quadricep Quality? Quad tightness, increased VL tone (neural tension), tightness, VMO inhibition and atrophy, etc are all critical. But what if there s one more major ingredient that keeps Quads under-active?
Hamstring overactivity, is what I am speaking about. We teach it on every Rehab Essentials – that the reason so many knees feel great when the Hammies are loosened, that in fact the brain learns to move in such a way that favours the contribution of the Hammie rather than Quad.
In this respect we would call it therefore a “Muscle Imbalance” of the knee – Hamstring dominating Quadriceps.
It would explain why so many people with knee pain are stuck moving through the lower limb in ways that favours the Hamstring. The main movements that favour the Hamstring, and seem to protect the knee (however prevent the Quads from ever really activating and hypertrophying), are when you:
- Lunge or squat through the hip only (Hip Flexion), turning them into a split squat and deadlift. Ever thought about that?
- Hyperextend your knee during walking.
- Over-striding in running
These movements keep the Hamstrings in a high tone, very tight state, making it very easy for the brain to overuse them at the expense of the atrophied Quads.
I’m going to go hunting for some research around this for next week, to see if my idea has any scientific basis for it, or only clinical common sense….
What do you think?
All the best loosening your Hammies for happier Knees!