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September 17, 2012
HOW to Build that “Tear Drop” in Your Quads
Ever wonder what that tear drop shaped muscle just above the knee is all about.  It is called the Vastus Medialis, or VMO for short, and it is one of the tell tale signs of a good athlete with strong and powerful legs.  A bulging VMO is not only indicative of a high performer, but it is also a key to staying healthy and preventing knee injuries. The Vastus Medialis (VMO) is one of the four quad muscles, and it is located on the inner border of the quad, just above the knee.  This muscle functions to extend the knee (just like all the other quad muscles), but it also has another key function as a knee stabilizer.  The VMO works together with the gluteus medius to stabilize the knee by preventing adduction of the femur and a resulting valgus at the knee.  This is key for keeping the knees strong and preventing injuries (see Sparta Point). 1 Leg Box Squats are great for developing strength and stability in the quads, especially the VMO.  This makes them one of our key movements for developing LOAD (see Sparta Point).  Producing more GRF with the quads (LOAD) is not only important for improved performance, but also for quickly generating muscular tension in order to brace the knee in case it is ever caught in a compromised position. Coaching Cues for the 1 Leg Box Squat
  • Front squat grip keeps the chest up – vertical torso
  • Center of pressure in the middle of the foot
  • Hip, knee and ankle are coordinated
  • Maintain tracking of the knee – glute med. and VMO working together
  • Progress reps, weight, and range of motion (lower box height)
Bigger is not always better, and strength is what really matters.  But, when it comes to developing a strong and injury resistant lower body, training the VMO is key.  So, when you are sizing up your competition, watch out for the athlete with the “bulge” above the knee.
September 17, 2012
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