Exercises to Correct Knock Knees

Knock knees is a term used to describe an inward angle of the thighs when a squat is performed or while standing in a neutral position. This is caused from weak abductor muscles, which are found on the outsides of the hips and thighs. To correct this problem, do abductor-strengthening exercises. The muscles involved with abduction are the gluteus maximus, gluteus medius, gluteus minimus and tensor fascia lata.

An Asian woman with a personal trainer. (Image: Jon Feingersh/Blend Images/Getty Images)

Side Lunges

Side lunges work your abductors, hamstrings and quadriceps. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your arms in front of your chest. In a steady motion, take a big step laterally to your left. When your foot comes to the ground, bend your knee, and push your butt backward. When you feel a strong contraction on your hip and other thigh, stand up, bring your feet back together and repeat to the other side. Continue to go back and forth for 10 to 12 repetitions. If you want more resistance, hold a medicine ball in front of your chest.

Side Step-ups

Side step-ups require the use of a weight bench or chair. Stand with your right side facing the bench and your arms in front of your chest. In a steady motion, place your right foot on the bench, press down and lift your body in the air. When your right leg is straight, hold for a second, lower yourself and repeat. After doing 10 to 12 reps, switch sides. As with side lunges, hold a medicine ball for added resistance.

Cable Abduction

Cable abductions work your outer thighs and hips with one side of a cable machine. Attach an ankle cuff to a low setting, fasten it around your lower right leg and stand with your left shoulder facing the weight stack. In a smooth, arcing motion, lift your foot off the floor and raise your leg laterally to your right as high as possible. Slowly lower and repeat. After doing 10 to 12 reps, switch sides.

Lying Abduction

Lying abduction is done from a side-lying position. Lie on your right side with your legs stacked. In a steady motion, lift your left leg at a 45-degree angle to the floor and hold for a second. Slowly lower your leg, repeat for 10 to 12 reps and switch sides. For added resistance, hold a dumbbell against your thigh when you raise your leg.

Wall Abductor Squeeze

Wall abductor squeezes require an exercise ball. Stand with your left side facing the wall, and hold the ball against the wall at stomach height. After lifting your left leg, bend your knee and get your thigh parallel to the floor. Steadily press into the ball with your outer left leg and hold for a full second. Slowly release the pressure and repeat. After doing 10 to 12 reps, switch sides.

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