Essentrics Plies are one of the most powerful exercises to reduce knee pain and strengthen the quadriceps muscle group.
When the quads are constantly being strengthened in a shortened position, the muscles start to pull on the knee, compressing the joint and causing knee pain. These tai-chi-style plies strengthen the quads in a lengthened position, rebalancing the muscles and releasing tension on the knee.
As a bonus, this exercise hydrates and loosens the sheets of fascia that surround the thighs, glutes, and lower back — realigning connective tissue fibers and helping to maintain the rebound action in your hips and knees!
Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of this exercise:
-Keep your knees directly over your ankle. Too wide of a stance compresses the knee joint. Too narrow stresses the tendons surrounding the kneecap. Bend only as deeply as you can without pain. The Goldilocks zone should look like a house, with your shins as sturdy walls supporting a gently sloping roof.
-Turn out from your hips – not your feet! This ensures that there is no torsion on your knee. Instead, as you stand on the sole of your foot, your knees and toes will automatically line up in the same direction.
-Pull up in your spine and out of your hips. This will help to decompress the spine and the hips and improve your posture.
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The Essentrics Team