Knee Pain with Single Leg Training? Try This!

Do you get knee pain with lunges or any type of single leg training?

“Hip Drop” or Pelvic Drop is commonly seen with single leg training.  It is seen in athlete’s dealing with low back or lower extremity pain, but it is also seen with athlete’s rehabbing from an ACL injury.

If you are not familiar with what this looks like, here is a video:

In the video, I am standing on my right leg.  As I step down, with my left leg, you can see my left hip/pelvis drops down towards the ground compared to my right.

Sometimes this can happen due to an athlete’s lack of core/trunk awareness in controlling that position.  If so, working on coaching a level pelvis position when training the eccentric portion of lower body movements can help.

If no amount of coaching can help an athlete improve this, there could potentially be lateral hip weakness on the stance leg or the side opposite of the drop OR core weakness on the non-stance side.

The muscles of the stance leg work to control the pelvis position when standing on one leg.  In contrast, the muscles on the opposite side above the pelvis work to hold the pelvis up and control this position.


If this is happening, we want to make sure we target the muscles of the lateral hip and core.  Exercises that I like to focus on are:

Lateral Single Leg Wall Ball Squats

Lateral Sled Drags

Feet Elevated Side Planks

Lateral Lunges

Modified Side Plank with Hip Hinge

Single Leg Drop Squats with Chop

If you are working with athletes, dealing with a pain with single leg training and/or a hip drop when doing single leg training, etc., try adding these movements into your training program to help with single leg and trunk control.

Andrew Millett