“The Last Word” on “Knees-Out!”

« | »

IMG_8981CrossFit WOD

1. Snatch Pull
    3 x 3 Reps at 100% Snatch weight

2. "The Last Word"
     3 Rounds For Time:
       15 Front Squats -135# M/95# W
       75 Double UndersIMG_8977
       Rest 3 Minutes

Record total time, including rests.

Strength Focus

Front Squat
2 x 1 Rep Max


Matt had "The Last Word" today, as he departed for Qatar. We will miss you!!!!


knee anatomy Thursday 121018

The wonders of knee anatomy.

If you’ve been coming to CFF
for any length of time, you’ve probably heard us express, in our own
loving way, the need to drive your knees out while lifting.  It’s
probably a good idea to review why.  Although I have tested a few pacemakers back in the day, a human anatomy major I am not.  So
some of you A&P nerds out there may be able to better describe what
I am about relate.

First off: If you take nothing else from this discussion, remember that your knees are in a healthier position if they are driven out. Period.

The knee is the body’s largest joint.
 It is sandwiched between the femur (the thigh bone), on top, and the
tibia (the big calf bone), on the bottom.  Protecting the innards of the
knee is the patella (the knee cap).  The knee sits on top of the
meniscus cartilage, which acts as a firm shock absorber.

The sides of the knees are supported by
ligaments. The LCL (Lateral Collateral Ligament), which lines the
outside of the knee, and the MCL (Medial Collateral Ligament), which
lines the inside of the knee.  Both the LCL and MCL limit sideways
movement for your knee.  That being said, you don’t hear a lot about the
LCL when it comes to injuries.  Why?  Number one, it is a more mobile
ligament. Number two, it requires a severe blow from the inside of the
knee to injure it.  The inside of the knee is naturally protected by our
body.  The LCL also runs from the top/front part of your knee, down and
back towards the bottom of the knee.  Thus, when we externally rotate
our leg and hip system, we simply add tension to a mobile ligament in a
direction that it can handle.  The MCL on the other hand, is purportedly
the most injured knee ligament.  It is injured when the knee is twisted
to the inside repeatedly over time, or with excessive shock to the
inside.  The MCL is longer, and is less flexible than the LCL.  So
it’s easy to see why a knee twisting inwards repeatedly (say, while
doing squats, dipping on push press or push jerks, or landing on box
jumps) could cause excessive stress to this ligament
. Hence, our potentially over-the-top concern about your knees.  I care about your MCL.  Not in weird way, either.  In a totally platonic way.

The femur and tibia are also connected
by two ligaments on the inside of the knee: The ACL (Anterior Cruciate
Ligament), and the PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament).  The two ligaments
cross each other in an “X” pattern, and help keep the knee from moving
too far forward or back.  We’ll focus on the ACL.  The ACL runs from the
back of the knee down towards the inside anterior portion of the knee.
When the knee bends in, you can visualize the ACL bending over onto
itself.  This, in technical terms, is what is referred to “in the biz”
as an “oh dang” moment.  As is in, “oh dang, that ACL is in trouble.”  When
you drive the knee out, the ACL is in a position of strength, due to
the fact that the tibia and femur are still in line with each other.

 Hence, the continued focus on the driving of your knees out.  Me and
your ACL are tight.  We hang on the weekends when I'm home.  I want the best for your
ACL.  Do you?  

That’s the scoop.  Externally rotate
your leg “system”, as it were, and keep your joints in positions of
strength, even throughout the day.  If flexibility prevents you from moving your knees into healthy positions when WOD’ing, it’s time to address it.

adapted from CF Verve


  1. Joel Barnett says:

    Great post! Thanks for the anatomy refresher.

Speak Your Mind