Fire Up Your Glutes: Welcome to Your PGOGOQs

Exploring your transverse plane stability

If you have any pain, please consult with your physician or physical therapist prior to attempting any of the movements suggested. This content is intended for clients who have been screened in the Foundations/ Practical Strength curriculum.

As many of you know, I have been working in the field of physical therapy and movement instruction since 1995. This does not necessarily give me any gravitas or chops- but it does mean that I have born witness to a lot of fads- both in fitness and in medicine.

As a natural skeptic, I am always suspicious of any fad- eat this one food, do this one movement- as most fads come to be disproven over time. All good science is constantly changing, and we really need to remain open and critical, so we can respond to the new information as it comes in.

When I first started in the field of physical therapy, anterior (front of the) knee pain was treated as if it stemmed from weakness in the medial quadricep muscles. This made good sense given what we could observe at the time.

When we looked at someone with anterior (front) knee pain, they often stood with their patella slid to the outside and rotated- as if it had lost a medial (inside) anchor).

When we asked someone to squat, we often noticed a worsening of this postural alignment.

I spent many of my early years as a physical therapy aide teaching patients how to use their vastus medialis (medial quadricep), how to tape their kneecaps (which is still a good tool)- but generally, completely getting it wrong. Case after case- wrong. (Sorry folks, we were doing the best we could with the information we had at that time).

In the late 90s research was conducted in biomechanics out of the University of Southern California using a fairly new technology at the time- an open MRI machine.

What was observed when clients with anterior knee pain entered the MRI and performed a squat, was that their knee caps stayed in the same spot, but their entire femurs rotated internally (!!!) What we were seeing was correct, but our perspective was all wrong. We had assumed the kneecap was moving due to lack of support wh