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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:15 am 
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Long time no see btw! Good to be back :)

So - I need to know how to "target" vastus medialis (the "teardrop" muscle), now I realize you can't really target it as such, but what are the best exercises to really work that muscle? I saw a naprapath last week for a different reason and we got to talking about my knees, and he checked them out and said my legs are really imbalanced and it's causing the patella to be pulled outward (because the vastus medialis is too weak compared to the vastus lateralis). So - I've been playing around with some squats, extensions etc just to see what's what, and from what I can see I don't even have a vastus medialis, haha :green: Anyhow, I had a really hard time figuring out what or how or when that muscle gets worked... help me please smart people! :scratch: :study:


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:26 am 
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@Helena115:

I did a Google search and came up with this site:

http://www.theinjuredknee.com/knee-inju ... -obliquus/

Hope that helps

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:57 am 
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From experience, I find Bulgarian Split Squats annihilate that muscle:

http://exrx.net/WeightExercises/Quadric ... Squat.html

I think it has definitely made a difference aesthetically. It's the only reason I do them, no sane person would do them for fun, it is the worst exercise I've ever done (the pain!).

Keep your feet as close as possible, without any discomfort, to target the quads more than glutes.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 10:58 am 
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Deific Wizard of Sagacity
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dumbell bulgarian split squats

leg extensions (turn you feet out 45 degrees as you raise, slowly return to neutral as you lower)

hack squat machine with toes turned out

traditional hack squat

terminal knee extensions

front squats (better than back squats but not great)

lunges (short step)

that should keep you going a while


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 11:47 am 
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Helena, it's been a long time since you've posted, welcome back.

The VMO is preferentially engaged at the extreme ends of knee extension, so terminal knee extensions, Peterson stepups and the top of the leg extentions work one end of the range, and deep squats, well below parallel, work the other. Goblet squats, front squats and overhead squats all allow you to get deep in the hole with an upright back and a lot of the force to get out of the hole will come from the VMO.

Also, I learned something from Robert's post.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16558452

"external rotation of the leg may affect VMO/VL activity ratio during closed chain knee extension exercises in individuals without PFPS[pain]."

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:12 pm 
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Wow, that is really helpful! Thanks guys!! I'll let you know how it goes :)


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:27 pm 
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I do Split Squats in a Front Squat position. My back is upright and I squat lower than I can do in normal squats with my knee going a lot further past my knee than usual. Makes sense from Stu's explanation why this works for me.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 9:16 pm 
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Essentially any movement you can bias toward the last 15° of knee extension is going to preferentially recruit the VMO. You might want to try some corrections for iliotibial band syndrome as well, if you find that you're not having any luck focussing on the VMO.

I find foam rolling combined with pistol squats to be a particularly heinous correction.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 3:57 pm 
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Stephen Johnson wrote:
@Helena115:

I did a Google search and came up with this site:

http://www.theinjuredknee.com/knee-inju ... -obliquus/

Hope that helps


Ok so I tried some of the exercises on this link and I really find it difficult to engage the VMO. Ugh, this is frustrating. I guess just keep trying, right?


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:04 pm 
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lighten the load, slow the reps. That usually helps you feel the target muscle


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 08, 2013 5:22 pm 
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Thanks for the tip, I will try that!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 9:46 am 
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@Helena115:

Try doing this to see if you can feel your VMO working:

Quote:
Before performing advanced VMO exercises, specialists on the Sports Injury Clinic website suggest checking to see if the muscle group is functioning properly. Sit with your legs extended in front of you, with a towel placed under the back of one knee. Start with the knee slightly bent. Place your fingers on your VMO, and press down against the towel to extend your leg. If the muscle is activating correctly, you will feel it contract under your fingers. If you don't feel the VMO contract, it may not be strong enough for weight-bearing exercise. This sometimes happens after anterior cruciate ligament surgery. Continue practicing the towel pressing exercise until the muscle gains strength. Perform 20 repetitions every day.


The article went on to describe using a contraption called a Petersen Sled to strengthen the VMO:

Quote:
The Poliquin Performance Center uses an unusual exercise called the Petersen sled drag for vastus medialis oblique rehabilitation and knee injury prevention. The sled consists of a metal platform, with a bar in the middle for attaching barbell plates, and a chain or heavy rope to pull the sled. After placing the weight plates on the sled, hold the rope or chain with your arms relaxed and extended. Keep your legs close together, with your feet slightly turned out. Drag the sled as you take small steps and walk backward for about 25 feet. Lift your heels from the floor as you walk. Perform four sets


http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles-pdf/ ... sledii.pdf

I've seen something similar to this sled in my gym. Do you have access to a gym that might have one?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 4:00 pm 
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Stephen Johnson wrote:
@Helena115:

Try doing this to see if you can feel your VMO working:
The article went on to describe using a contraption called a Petersen Sled to strengthen the VMO:
http://www.dieselcrew.com/articles-pdf/ ... sledii.pdf

I've seen something similar to this sled in my gym. Do you have access to a gym that might have one?


Thanks Stephen - I do have access to a gym that has the sled. I did the medialis activation test and it does activate, but it's really difficult for me to find that exact motion that does it, y'know? Also it's interesting for me to feel the difference between the right and left leg, the medialis is definitely more pronounced on my right leg, which is also the knee that hurts less.

I see how all the tips given in previous posts will work the medialis - my worry though is that they will work the lateralis and intermedius to a greater extent since they're better activated apparently... and if I've understood it correctly, the problem is not just under-activation of the medialis but also over-activation of the lateralis and intermedius (and rectus femoris?).


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 09, 2013 10:33 pm 
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Helena115 wrote:
I see how all the tips given in previous posts will work the medialis - my worry though is that they will work the lateralis and intermedius to a greater extent since they're better activated apparently... and if I've understood it correctly, the problem is not just under-activation of the medialis but also over-activation of the lateralis and intermedius (and rectus femoris?).


If the tips don't work, you can come back on this board and vent how all of us "smart people" are full of it. :cussing:

But it would be more productive if, while you're doing the exercises, you imagine your naprapath being blown away by the improvement in your VMO. Others have done it - why not you?

You have a game plan now - don't try to talk yourself out of following it.

Good luck. Keep us posted on your progress.

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