Your Cart is Empty

How Knees Work (And How to Make Them Work Better)

July 25, 2014 3 min read

Knees get a bad rap. Of the top seven most common sports injuries, three of them are knee-related. Even for non-athletes, creaking, popping and aching seem to be practically inevitable. I used to buy in to the conventional wisdom that knees are poor shock absorbers, cursed by design with an inexplicable fragility.  I've since realised that this is like failing to drive a nail with a bullwhip; yeah, it makes a poor hammer—but "fragile" isn't exactly the word I would use. If you've read just about any of my other articles, then you're well aware of the super-cool, force-muliplying function of your foot and ankle. All of that force, which winds up as internal rotation of the tibia, has to somehow get to the pelvis as external rotation so that it can be used as propulsion for our center of gravity. Rather than a shock absorber, The knee is the adapter which allows that shift to happen. When your knee bends, your once-straight leg gets shorter, meaning that any force applied to it suddenly moves the whole structure faster through space. It's the same principle ice skaters use when they pull their arms and legs in and magically start spinning at 300 rpm. This increase in velocity is stored as elastic tension in your hips; when released, this turns your femur into a trebuchet, propelling the pelvis forward. Blah blah physics and bones and stuff: you're reading this because your knees hurt, not because you're looking for a science fair project. Pain in the knees is typically associated with a force acting on the knee, rather than passing through it, like it's supposed to. Because the knee is situated between two joints, this means that one of those joints is doing a poor job of receiving the force exiting the knee and reacting accordingly. The video below is an exercise for identifying and correcting that relationship. There are two things you need to know: 1) Your dominant leg and non-dominant leg behave differently—and, barring a few rare exceptions, behave similarly to everyone else's dominant and non-dominant legs. (Roughly 70-90% of you prefer your right leg.) Before watching the video below, identify your dominant leg by kicking a football (or imagining kicking a football) and noting which leg feels most natural. 2) Certain types of footwear—in particular footwear with "arch support" or some kind of orthotic—may prevent this from working properly. Unless under specific, recent advice from a doctor to the contrary, take your shoes off when you do this. You may notice that I didn't show the exercise in reverse, with the dominant leg in back. Of course, feel free to play with that position, but, in my experience, building up the necessary strength and awareness happens best in the format presented. Because the goal of the exercise is an internal relationship within the leg, symmetry across the two sides is not necessary. Think of this as an experiment rather than an exercise regimen: repeat it frequently but without intensity. Performing the movements described will give you a better feeling for what muscles you're not using when it comes time to fire up those knees. As you become more aware where strength is lacking, try performing simple daily activities like climbing stairs, kneeling down, jumping and squatting with an emphasis on the movements and muscles you now know aren't doing their fair share. Have fun and let me know how it goes in the comments!  

Leave a comment

Also in BodyRock Store Blog

Image of Bodyrock blog article - What Happens To Your Butt When You Sit All Day?
What Happens To Your Butt When You Sit All Day?

July 14, 2019 3 min read 483 Comments

Do you think your booty looks a little flat? This might be why!
Read More
Image of Bodyrock blog article - 12 Ways To Make Your Belly Flatter By The End Of The Day
12 Ways To Make Your Belly Flatter By The End Of The Day

July 08, 2017 4 min read 44 Comments

Read More
Image of Bodyrock blog article - 7 Ways To Stop Binge Eating In It's Tracks
7 Ways To Stop Binge Eating In It's Tracks

June 22, 2017 2 min read 2 Comments

Do you ever find yourself knuckle-deep in a bag of Cheetos?
Read More
Shipping & Delivery
We want you to start your fitness journey with us as quickly as possible, that’s why we send every package to the USA & Canada via expedited or standard shipping (whichever is faster) with our partners at UPS. Once your order has been processed successfully we try to have your shipment prepared within 1-2 business days, and it typically takes 2-4 days to get to you once it leaves our warehouse.

We currently DO NOT SHIP to locations outside of the US and Canada. We DO NOT ship to a P.O. Box number.

We ship all of our physical products with UPS, from our warehouse location in Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Sometimes delivery can be delayed by circumstances out of our control, like postal & custom delays, back-ordered products or incorrectly entered shipping addresses. If there is a delay at Customs, a representative of UPS may contact you to provide your identification in order to receive your package. Please do this ASAP: Customers will be responsible for any additional shipping fees for failure to provide the required information to release a shipment.

Make sure when checking out and paying for your order that all of your information entered is correct! If you notice a mistake in your address, please try to contact us before your order is processed for shipping to avoid any missed shipments or delays. As soon as we process your order for shipping, you will receive a shipping confirmation email that contains your UPS tracking number. You can head on over to the UPS Website to see where your products are. Note: tracking information may take 1-2 business days to be updated in the UPS system

If you are not home when your package is delivered, BodyRock is NOT responsible if it is stolen. Please contact us if this happens to you and we will provide you with all the information needed to take the next steps.
Returns & Exchanges

BodyRock Equipment

We offer a 30-day return policy, as long as: it is not more than 30 days past the date of delivery; and your item is in its original condition and packaging with the original order number. Refunds will be issued when the equipment is received back to the BodyRock warehouse, minus the original cost of shipping, and the customer is responsible for the costs of return shipping. To request a refund on physical product purchases, please contact us.

Digital Products

We cannot issue refunds on digital goods such as e-books or videos, as these are non-tangible goods that are irrevocable once the order is placed.


All of the BodyRock clothing is made to order and so is final sale. If you have any questions about sizing prior to placing your order, please contact us.