How To Strengthen Hyperextended Knees? Standing Awareness Exercises at CORE Therapy& Pilates

Now, with hyperextension, most dancers, most folks… I bet the vast majority of people who we see have hyperextended knees. What I want you to do is I want you to bend a little bit, and that’s going to be … We’re going to call it the first spot.

And I want you to go to mid-range, what you think is mid-range, and then I want you to hyperextend. Then I want you to come back to first spot, bend, and then go to your mid-range and then go to hyperextend. Now, we’re going to switch it up, come to bend. Now, this time, go all the way to hyperextend, all the way. And now, come to bend or the middle. I’m sorry, the middle.

So the middle is that kind of mid-range, right. Now, come to the bend and now go all the way to hyperextension, and now come to the mid-range. All right. Now, this time, we’re skipping hyperextension. Come to me, bend and then go to neutral. Don’t hyperextend. I can’t see, so I don’t know what you’re doing.

You can’t see.

I can’t see very well-

Oh, the side.

At that angle from here. So you’ll all have to give some advice on it if she’s hyperextended. And then bend for me, and then hyper … I’m sorry. Neutral.

By pushing down find length. Not just like finding a spot. Find neutral, by going up and down to find your space.

So really focus on that heel and the more you’re focused there, the better as well. And now, go ahead and bend to the bend position, and then go to neutral but not, hyperextended. And then we just do this back and forth. And so now, we’ve taught her where hyperextended is and what to avoid.

Am I straight?

You need to go straight up to find straight.

But it’s interesting too because you’re hyperextending the other leg. And so-

Because you’re not paying attention. You can see the difference.

And so it’s like I can see the difference.

And that’s why we do the one leg at a time. Now, do both legs without me using the resistance, and then bend both, and then hyperextend both.

Oh, wow!

Oh, wow!

And then come back to neutral.

You can even see this on the back.

And then go into hyperextension, and then go back to neutral.

Wow. The right one is so much more hyperextended even when you’re trying to hyperextend the left.

So now stop in mid-range.

But mid-range is straight up.

Mid-range is not-

It is straight up. It’s not a bent knee.

Mid-range is not bent. The first part, I’m talking about step one is not neutral. Step two is neutral and step three is hyperextended. So we’re trying to keep you in one to two. That’s it.

I can feel it adjust in my pelvis too.

Now, let’s go ahead and balance her out a little bit on this side. And so I’m going to call them one, two and three, the points. So bend the knee, and that’s going to be one.

But now, she’s in a different stance.

Stand up a little straighter here. And then go into two. It’s going to be mid-range. And then three is hyperextended. And then come to one, and then go to two, and go to three. All right. This time, we’re skipping two and we’re going to go from one to three.

So bend into hyperextension?

All the way to hyperextended. Yeah, that’s right. Then come back to one, bend, and back to three. All right. Now, go one and now you’re stopping at two and you’re no longer going to three. Three is no longer allowed, and then go to one, and go to two. And that’s your new neutral. Then go to one and push into your heel as you go into two.

All right, and then do two more of those. And it’s going to be done at home with the knot tied into the door. All right. Now, turn and face that way and we’re going to do the same thing. You’re going to turn and face that way. All right. Now, in this position, we’re going to go to one, and now, there’s a little effort to get to one.

Now, go to two and stop at two and then come all the way back to three. And then go to one, and then stop at two for a second as you come back, and then go to three. All right, and then go to one and now go all the way to three, and one to three. Now, three is no longer allowed. We’re going to one to two. Stop. One to two.

So now, the resistance is totally different just because she’s back-loaded versus front-loaded. Just do that a few times.

It helps having it split.

Totally. It’s the proprioception awareness. And then we could do it facing that way and facing that way as well. I did not do that with Mia the other day, just ran out of time. But I could then load her laterally and medially, and that’s going to challenge things totally different. But the awareness that she’s gaining here … I can’t give her awareness, but this is giving her way more awareness than anything I can ever tell her.

This is one of the hardest things for me with clients, is trying to explain this.

Really, really…

Because I used to walk around in hyperextension, and I totally retrained myself.

I heard you saying that, Celeste.

Do it just like that.

I can’t even do it anymore, I don’t think.

Oh, that’s good.

I know.

All right, so go to one and come back to three. We’re going to go right into the big boy. One to three.

It still doesn’t feel like it’s locking as much as it was when we began.

That’s the hopes. And now, go one and then stop at two.

And go to one.

And stop at two. One is bent leg and two is neutral. But neutral, to most people who are hyperextended is going to be completely off. Their perception of neutral is going to be very off, and relaxed. And then we take that same idea into footwork…

Call 512-215-4227 if you or your young athlete-dancer has hyperextended knees. We can help!

Co-Owner / Physical Therapist at CORE Therapy and Pilates
Stephen graduated with a Masters in Physical Therapy in 1998 from LSUMC in New Orleans and is a licensed physical therapist in Texas since 2004. Immediately interested in hands-on therapy, he began to study with Brian Mulligan and became certified in the Maitland Australian Approach in 2003. Stephen has since studied the fascial system through John F Barnes Myofascial Release. Stephen completed a comprehensive Pilates training in 2002 and the GYROTONIC Expansion System® in 2009. The combined treatment of manual therapy with mind-body awareness exercises using Pilates and Gyrotonic concepts was the start of his whole-body treatment approach.
Stephen Dunn