Why lack of shoulder mobility can cause knee pain.

Hello and welcome to the inaugural post of our very own Mischa Jemionek. Mischa has been with us at Crossfit Love for a little while now helping cure our athletes of their mobility and stability issues; helping them through old injuries and making them better performers. Mischa will be a regular contributor to this blog and we look forward to her sagely advice. Now read ahead and enjoy…
It’s all connected: Why lack of shoulder mobility can cause knee pain.
Everyone knows what the perfect overhead squat should look like; active shoulders, elbows locked, wide grip, bar overhead in the frontal plane, feet shoulder width, thighs below parallel, etc.  So why do people complain of anterior knee pain when doing overhead squats and not air squats or back squats?  Let me show you:

Hopfully you picked the picture on the left as the correct form.  Notice where the weight is in relation to his base of support; over the middle of his foot.  He can easily stand up with the weight evenly distributed over his heels and ball of foot allowing for proper knee mechanics and distribution of force.  In the picture on the right, the weight is forward over his toes since he can’t get his arms completely overhead.  When he stands up, his heels will barely be in contact with the ground.  Now imagine 10x that weight being forced through the front of your knee.  Kneecap grinding on femur with that much weight…OUCH.
Not to mention crappy PR’s.  So…fix your shoulders, get the bar over your base of support, and stop burning out your knees.

Mischa Jemionek, MA, ATC, CSCS, CES
Assistant Athletic Trainer
Princeton University
PO Box 71
Princeton, NJ 08544

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