Seated Heel Lift: VMO-Strengthening Exercise

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Strengthening your VMO (Vastus Medialis Oblique Muscle) helps control the position of the patella (kneecap).

VMO 1

The VMO stabilizes the patella within its groove. It controls the alignment of the patella when the knee is bent and straightened. Easing knee pain requires getting the timing of VMO right alongside strengthening the rest of the quadriceps group.

In this premium video, Leah Zahner, Certified Personal Trainer (NASM), explains how a seated heel lift, a small range of motion exercise, creates a contraction in the VMO muscle helping to strengthen the knee.

Step 1

Start seated with your legs out in front of you while focusing on squeezing the muscles outside of your knees. This will help press your knees down while lifting your heels.

VMO 2

Step 2

Sitting tall, create the contraction by squeezing your VMO and quadriceps.

VMO 3

You’ll notice the contraction is small. It is supposed to be. Remember to keep your back, shoulders and arms straight throughout the exercise. Multiple reps over time makes a big difference for limiting knee pain. The VMO is usually the first muscle around the knee that creates knee pain.

Bowling is lower body dominant, and if you cannot bend properly in the finish position you’ll lose leverage and your bowling ball will not hook the way you intend.

For more on the subject check out “Lying Leg Raises to Strengthen Your Knees” and “Knee Continuation in Bowling’s Finish Position.”