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  #1  
Unread 03-20-2010, 03:34 PM
toiletmoose toiletmoose is offline
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Default "Feeling" the Quads

Because of my high school sports involvement, my right side is pretty dominant. The Benching with the Pecs article really taught my left pec to fire during benching. Applying the same principle to Shoulder activity also worked.

The one area which I never really resolved was my left quad. In most leg exercises (BSS, leg press, regular squats, etc) , I feel the tension more so in my hams and glutes more than my quads. Even in leg extensions, I have to really focus on my left side to feel the vastus working.

Now, that's all fine and good for lifting. However, during cycling, the same phenomenon occurs, and I somehow can feel my left ham working moreso than my left quad.

I'm sure that this is partly because my left leg is weaker and smaller, which is something I'm addressing with some exclusive Single-leg work, mainly BSS. I'm thinking of implementing some single leg extensions. Other than that, what other measures and cues would be helpful? Thanks a lot.
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  #2  
Unread 03-20-2010, 04:37 PM
frank yangs left quad's Avatar
frank yangs left quad frank yangs left quad is offline
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Is what you feel that relevant? I mean, I would be concerned, too, but is your left quad (lol my name) weaker/smaller than the other one or anything?
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  #3  
Unread 03-20-2010, 04:57 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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It can be. I had a client years ago with a weird hip injury that led to some odd subsitutitions. On step ups, for example, she'd use glute/ham on one side and quad on the other.

Beyond that, I'd suggest a combination of isolation work (where you can't substitute out anything else) gradually moving to more compound stuff with a focus on quads (e.g. step up with the knee pushed all the way forwards, split squat with knee forwards as per the article on the site). use a lot of touch training (stroking the muscle while you work it, this helps with activation and proprioception). Static stretching glutes/hams may be useful prior to this to shut them down neurologically.

If this still doesn't work, you may have some type of neural issue (the same client above could not activate the distal part of her VL for example, it simply didn't innervate neurologically) that is worth getting looked into.
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Unread 03-20-2010, 09:02 PM
toiletmoose toiletmoose is offline
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Thanks for the responses.

Yup, the left quad is weaker. The vastus is most noticeable smaller. One bit of info I probably should have put in is that my left knee got pretty banged up by a fall in the past, which put me off heavy axial loading for a couple of weeks.

After that, basically it's been unilateral work (mainly BSS) in either a balanced or glute-dominant knee position. I've had no trouble with the knee ever since.

Strength deficit between sides isn't very great (say for a given weight on BSS, left side can get 8 reps while right can get 10).

I'll take the suggestion of including some isolation work. Probably a set of leg extensions for the left side on leg day.

I'm pretty confident that it doesn't matter too much in terms of health and day-to-day life. Just something that I would like to fix if I can. Thanks for the suggestions once again.
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  #5  
Unread 03-20-2010, 09:25 PM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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Note that knee injuries, even small amounts of swelling totally shut off the VMO. You may need to do some re-education movements for that reason. Terminal knee extensions or quad sets may be required. Simply stroking, prodding, poking the VMO while you do end range leg extensions works too.
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  #6  
Unread 03-20-2010, 09:39 PM
toiletmoose toiletmoose is offline
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Will do. Thanks
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  #7  
Unread 03-20-2010, 10:01 PM
Fitnesschicky Fitnesschicky is offline
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Would this same thing apply to an elbow injury? Had a pretty nasty elbow break and dislocation when I was 10. I'm lucky to have an arm the way it was mangled, and I've come a LONG way, but it's so frustrating when I'm benching and feel like such a weak-a**. I always feel like I really have to focus when I'm training that arm
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  #8  
Unread 03-20-2010, 10:17 PM
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Not to my knowledge, no. There may be residual damage but it's not quite the same as what i was talking about re: the VMO and how inflammation shuts things down.
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  #9  
Unread 03-20-2010, 10:46 PM
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Lyle, sometimes I'll notice when I first start warming up for a set of squats, or even when doing leg extensions after leg press I will have a pain in the knee cap. Now I don't think this has shut off the VMO simply because mine is well defined on both legs (even the one that has the knee pain) what would you suggest to get rid of this pain?

My squat form is fine and I point the knees outward when dropping down. To be honest after I am warmed up I don't even feel the pain on squats at all it is mostly when I do leg extensions and it is at the point the leg is fully extended that I feel it. I can even hear it click if I just sit and extend the leg out and bring it back down. To kind of give you an idea on where the pain is and where I can hear the clicking it is the center part of the right knee on the right side. Never had any kind of knee injuries.
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  #10  
Unread 03-21-2010, 07:28 AM
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lylemcd lylemcd is offline
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I'd suggest getting someone not on the internet to look at it as 'knee pain' can mean a lot of different things and nobody, including yours truly, can tell you what the problem is based on that vague of a description. At a first approximation, find the patellar tracking test I've described on the forum and do that. That's a common one.

But, again, saying you get 'knee pain' is like saying you have a headache. It's a completely generic symptom of any number of things. I couldn't tell you how to treat a 'headache' anymore than this.
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