Do your knees hurt when you squat? This is one of the most common postpartum complaints I hear from mums besides core and pelvic floor issues.
First, let’s address why it happens in the first place:
During pregnancy, we carry a lot of extra weight in the front. When we carry or hold weight in the front of our body, it causes the front of our body to overwork. The quads (fronts of our thighs) get overused as we carry around this extra weight in the front, and as the quads become stronger, they start to take over, thus allowing the glutes to become weaker.
Have you ever heard the term “mom-butt”? Which refers to the saggy butt we experience as moms. This is why. So unless you were actively and intentionally training your glutes with weights during pregnancy, there is a high probability that your glutes are essentially turned off.
Squatting is a glute exercise. But when the glutes are very weak, we can lean too far forward when we squat, making it a quad exercise, thus exacerbating the problem. When we lean too far forward, and when the glutes aren’t firing as they should, it puts waaay too much load into the knees, which causes knee pain, knee misalignment, and knee issues.
So how can we fix this issue?
We need to bring our weight back when we squat so that we sit down into our glutes and not forward into our quads and knees.
However, when the glutes aren’t strong enough to hold the load, this is infinitely easier said than done. So what’s the solution?
Well, I have a little tool for you. And this is something I love to use both in my private teaching sessions and in my group classes.
Mammas, i give you, the squat wedges:
These are a great way to raise your heels up (keep your toes on the ground and allow the wedges to lift your heels). This will make it easier for you to sit back into your glutes and therefore strengthen your glutes when you squat rather than sitting forward into your knees and causing pain. So they really are a great way to improve your form when squatting and therefore build more glute strength! I sometimes use these regardless, just because it makes for a superior glute workout.
Stronger glutes make for a more stable pelvis, which makes it easier to strengthen your core and pelvic floor, and also makes diastasis healing easier too. It’s all connected!
These wedges can also double up as wrist wedges for things like planks. It takes the deep flexion out of your wrists and also helps reduce load and, therefore pain.
There’s also a full Knee Rehab workshop inside my 12-week program, as well as other ways to strengthen your glutes without doing squats.
Hope you found this helpful. Tag me @bromleymethod if you try the wedges!