The Importance of Those Two Little Words

If you have been in, or simply around, the gym, then you have probably heard the cue “knees out”. Let’s talk about the magnitude of those seemingly two little words.

When does this cue get used?

Simple answer: Squats and other knee bending movements.
Long story: Yes, a squat heavy workout is the most common time you will hear a coach exclaim, “Knees out.” However, there are other times you need to be aware. Lunging, jumping, landing, walking down stairs, and even while running are all times that you need to be conscious of where your knee is in accordance to your toes.

What is this cue for?

Simple answer: Pushing your knees outward, away from the other knee.
Long story: An issue that often arises with squatting is something known as knee valgus, or an internal collapse of the knee. This puts you at a high risk for the big-bad, ACL tear, as well as other complications.

Can I push my knees too far out? What is “out” exactly?

Simple answer: Yes and in line with your pinky toe.
Long story: Knees out does not mean turn your feet out wide and push your knees to follow suit. This is more of a cue to initiate more hip/glute medius action.

Think about “cork-screwing” your feet into the floor, keeping your big toe, pinky toe and heel all glued to the floor. Your knee will then get into position above your pinky toe.