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EC or MR: Muscle Imbalances

Hey guys,

I have a couple of questions regarding VM/VMO activation and muscle imbalances in the legs. I have significantly laterally tracking patella. I have gone through the HS, ITBand, Quad, etc. stretching, been checked for overpronation, and had ART sessions etc… without much success.

My first question is that many of the articles here cite deep variations of squats as ways to activate the VMO, and partial movements as over activiting the vastus lateralis. On the other hand, one of the rehab exercises listed to work VMO is a closed chain TKE with a band or peterson step up. This is a little confusing these are very limited range movements.

My second question to follow up with this is what exercises would you reccommend to emphasize quads over hamstrings? I have prioritized posterior chain exs. very heavily over the last couple years and I think I msy actually have relatively weak quads. My glutes and Hammies get hit very hard with most leg exercises. Even front squats do not seem to hit quads versus post. chain.

I know leg presses and leg extensions are bad words and I have not set my butt in either of them for over a year. Could these be options, however, given my situation. I am 6’3" with long limbs and torso if it makes any difference.

Thanks for your help
K

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K,

Yes, the whole VMO thing can be confusing; however, it’s just too different schools of thought. The ones who like the TKE are into activating the VMO via terminal knee extension. Does it work? Yes. Is it functional/have real world carryover? That’s more debatable. If your patella is tracking that far laterally, have you checked to see how tight you are in other hip flexor muscles/synergists such as the adductors, rectus femoris, psoas, etc.? Not that that is the only problem, but if they are inhibiting gluteal function and performance, that could be a huge issue.

As far as quad recruitment, I would check out my Single Leg Supplements article and try some of the short-stroke variations of lunges and Bulgarian squats to really blow up your quads.

Stay strong
MR

[quote]
My first question is that many of the articles here cite deep variations of squats as ways to activate the VMO, and partial movements as over activiting the vastus lateralis. On the other hand, one of the rehab exercises listed to work VMO is a closed chain TKE with a band or peterson step up. This is a little confusing these are very limited range movements.[/quote]

From an article I wrote elsewhere:

Let me be very clear, though; there is no conclusive research demonstrating that there is a “best” exercise for isolating the VMO.

Front squats and single-leg exercises with a shorter stride. If the front squats aren’t hitting your quads, chances are that you’re allowing too much hip flexion to occur and are essentially doing a Zercher good morning. Lower the weight and make them perfect.

They wouldn’t be if I was training you.

EC or MR, I have a very underdevloped Bicep fermois. Apprently it’s from always internally rotating my feet during hamstring curls. What can be done to develop my BF? I’m doing glute-ham raines, Any sugguestions?

Eric and Mike,

What are your feelings on using a heels elevated stance for shifting some load to the quads?

Also, what about real Hack squats where you hold the barbell behind your back and basically deadlift it?

I thought Poliquin suggested doing a one and a quarter squat to shift some load to the quads as well.

Ryan

I, personally, don’t like the idea of putting plates under the heels as it’s pretty un-natural. I feel you’re better off to purchase some Olympic shoes to train front squats, Olympic squats, etc. (You’ll note we put heels elevated front squats into our NNM routine to elicit more VMO recruitment).

With regards to Hack squats, I can’t really comment because I’ve never had any desire to try them. My biggest issue would be to make sure that the trainee has adequate flexibility in the glutes/low back to perform them with proper lordosis/neutral spine.

Stay strong
MR

[quote]Dr. Ryan wrote:
Eric and Mike,

What are your feelings on using a heels elevated stance for shifting some load to the quads?

Also, what about real Hack squats where you hold the barbell behind your back and basically deadlift it?

I thought Poliquin suggested doing a one and a quarter squat to shift some load to the quads as well.

Ryan

[/quote]

[quote]bigpump23 wrote:
EC or MR, I have a very underdevloped Bicep fermois. Apprently it’s from always internally rotating my feet during hamstring curls. What can be done to develop my BF? I’m doing glute-ham raines, Any sugguestions?[/quote]

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