September 10, 2010
Knees rolling in on squats and pulls? Bill Starr explains how you can fix the problem by working on your adductors, which will translate to more weight on the bar.
All strength improvement emanates from the center of the body—hips, glutes, upper leg—then radiates upward and downward. Those on a mission to get stronger recognize the importance of leg strength and know the back squat is the very best exercise for the job. In addition to heavy squats, many strength athletes also add in leg extensions and leg curls to ensure that they’re keeping their quads and hamstrings plenty strong. But few do anything specific for their adductors. They’re sort of the forgotten leg muscle.
Of all the athletes, both male and female, that I started on strength routines, at least a third of them displayed a weakness in their adductors right away. So they start in squatting with a slight handicap that needs to be corrected as soon as possible. Then there are those who are fine at the beginning, but after the poundages in the squat start to be considerable, weak adductors reveal themselves.
How? When an athlete’s knees turn inward when he’s squatting or pulling heavy weights, his adductors are relatively weaker than his quads and hams. It’s easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for, and the nice thing about working the adductors is that they respond to direct attention rather quickly.