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Run biomechanics for Women: Why do I run “knock kneed”?

Sarah Thomson of Innovations Sports Physiotherapy answers our readers question regarding running biomechanics, specifically addressing the problem of running “knock-kneed”.

In addition to answering our readers question, we will be bringing you more expert advice on “Glute strength for running” in the coming week.


 “I run like my knees are tied together…any suggestions to help correct this?”

Answer: Sarah Thomson of Innovations Sports Physiotherapy

Thanks for your question. There are many reasons that you may be “running like your knees are tied together”. The first thing we need to think about is that as a female we have a wider pelvis than males. This results in a larger Q angle. Q angle is the angle created between the front of your pelvis and the middle of you knee cap. A males Q angle is pretty straight but a females Q angle shows our pelvis sitting wider than our knees. Already we can look like our knees are closer together.

The next thing we need to think about it your Glute (butt muscles) strength. When we run or walk it is our glutes that stop our knees from turning in. If your glutes are weak this can result in your knees rolling in towards each other when you are running.

The final thing we need to think about is your foot bio mechanics. If you over-pronate (feet roll in) when you run or walk this will also result in your knees moving towards each other when you are running.

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All of or one of these things can make us look like we are running with our knees tied together. We can’t change our Q-angle. I would start by working on increasing your glute strength to see if this makes a difference, and perhaps getting some run technique advice. Incorporating running drills into some of your run sessions can help to correct our running technique.  If you have increased your glute strength and worked on run technique for a while but still feel your knees are coming together then you could see someone who could fit some orthotics for you.