How to Train Your VMO (Vastus Medialis) | Knee Exercises

How to Train Your VMO (Vastus Medialis) | Knee Exercises


Hi. My name is Eric Sampson, and I’d like to spend
a few minutes talking about how to properly train your VMO. The VMO is short for your vastus medialis
oblique. It’s the inner portion of your quadriceps
muscle, which is basically the front of your thigh. The VMO is very important to train and train
properly in the presence of any degeneration in your knee. Classically, the knee will degenerate on the
medial side of your knee due to some skeletal alignment issues or just the normal wear and
tear process. So working on your VMO a little extra, rather
than just doing the quadriceps alone, is going to be important to try to prevent the knee
injuries as well as recovering from the injuries. So two exercises that are wonderful for the
VMO, they’re real simple to do at home as well as in a gym setting, is going to be a
straight leg raise where you’re concentrating a little bit more on your VMO. So the best thing to do is to first straighten
out your leg, and the trick is to try to turn your foot out laterally. I often tell my patients to point their toes
at about 11 o’clock or 10 o’clock if you pretending there’s a clock in front of you. From there, you’re trying to tighten up your
thigh and then basically lift up your leg. But by having that hip angled, you’re going
to be working your inner quad portion of your VMO a little bit more. So you can lower that back down. So you tighten up and then you lift, and then
you would lower back down. The other exercise that’s real simple to do
is call the bridge, something that we do a lot. But if you take a medicine ball or really
anything with a little bit of weight and you put it between the knees and you squeeze while
you’re doing the bridge lift, you’re actually going to contract your inner thigh and your
VMO muscles a little more than you ordinarily would do on a regular bridge. So bridges and your straight leg raises, if
you’re doing this on a regular basis, I recommend maybe two sets of ten on alternating days,
three sets of ten as you get a little stronger, and then you can kind of progress with the
leg raises to a weight, or you can continue doing this and holding your bridge up a little
bit longer as a progression.

46 comments on “How to Train Your VMO (Vastus Medialis) | Knee Exercises

  1. C G Post author

    Thanks for the video. My ortho told me I have 10 degree patellar rotation and this looks like it will do the trick.

    Reply
  2. ervin ervo Post author

    I have patellar tendonitis and very weak vmo muscles as it turns out. My knee kinda tightens(lack of better explanation) and I can't move without pain, I just did these 2 exercises and feel immediate relief (it loosened up)….gonna continue with it every day now, thank u very much

    Reply
  3. Luke Durward Post author

    How can the bridge and leg raise strengthen the VMO if its origin is the femur and not the pelvis? The VMO has no role in adduction… so really these are just strengthening the adductors?…

    Reply
  4. Regardt Van Zanten Post author

    VMO is a global stabilizer of the knee. assists none so ever in hip flexion(iliacus + rectus femoris,and some psoas anterior fibres). VMO function is stabilizing the knee,the fibers are oblique and thus no mobility action.  Maybe you should go read up on anatomy.  If you are a biokinetises by all means go for your quads training but don't say VMO isolating exercise.  Come learn from real physios

    Reply
  5. flor Poy Post author

    I have a patello femoral pain, I already finished my theraphy session but I'm still having a hard time using the stairs sometimes. I miss all my activities, can I go back with my usual activities in the gym and also do my sports, when can I know if I colud go back to my usual activities?

    Reply
  6. Tarik Atassi Post author

    Once your knee is straight, your quads have extended your knee as much as they can. The straight leg raise is using the iliopsoas. So I don't understand this method of strengthening any quad muscle. But it did give me a good idea to externally rotate the leg and do knee extensions to strengthen the VMO.

    Reply
  7. La Flame Post author

    I have overdeveloped vastus medialis and have patellar tendonitis in both of my knees. I'm only 17 and I weight lift a lot but somehow my vastus lateralis won't develop or still looks small. My medialis is pushing my kneecap to the left on my left leg and to the right on my right leg. What can I do to correct this? I also run track

    Reply
  8. Crash 709 Post author

    I have a question I hope you could answer. I recently dislocated my patella in a Judo tournament about 3 months ago and I feel I'm at a stand still with recovery/rehab. I'm back to walking fine and most of the swelling is gone. But, the knee is still really tight and painful when bent to full range of motion/flexion, and it still pops when I try to squat/lunge or do leg extensions. But, I can do the exercises you demonstrate in your above video, Glut Bridges with a ball between my knees and weighted leg extensions, until the cows come home. How do I progress to return to previous athletic level?

    Reply
  9. Gia Bảo Hoàng Post author

    This stuff is аbsоlutеlу аmаzing! I usеd this right аfter I grаduаted high schоol until the еnd oof my freshman yeаr and gааined abоut 30 рounds оf lеаn musсlе. I went frоm 145 аt thе еnd of high scсhооl to 177 bуу the end of my first уеar in collееgе. Тhis stuff is nothing short оf аmаzing. I'd reсommеnd https://twitter.com/fa125cda69d7a5e59/status/742668391975096320 tо аnуоnе lооking tо bulk uр fаirly quick! Hоw tо Тrain Yоur VМО Vastus Mediаlis Кneе ЕЕЕEхеrcisеs

    Reply
  10. Cravens Boughner Post author

    Awesome to see that Unflexal includes new training instructions to build my body perfectly.

    Reply
  11. Chaudhry Alligood Post author

    I've found great handbook on Unflexal workouts. Good solutions for everyone I think

    Reply
  12. potato psoas Post author

    When I stand my VMOs are really contracted – they look like lumps popping out of my legs. I don't know why they are like that when I stand.

    Reply
  13. cristian aldana Post author

    I've use https://twitter.com/8afe4268ad5501383/status/822770372575563776 and I'vе gоne frоm 207lbs tо 215lbs. prettу сlean muscle, gооd dieeeting lifting 3 dаys аaa week. I'm aaa cooontinued customer. 3rd bоttle

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  14. Laurel Bridge Software Post author

    Excellent information. Why all the side shots of the presenter? This is so distracting. Just talk right to camera.

    Reply
  15. Paul Zeng Post author

    Hi!
    I've been dealing with knee tracking issues and pain for a few months now and this is one of the best videos I've seen so far.
    I wonder if I can get your thoughts on a couple of things:
    1) Are no-weight VMO exercises enough to fix the imbalance? I don't mean to doubt your content, but I just want to learn more. I ask the question because I started noticing the imbalance (through pain and knee clicking) when my squat went past 310 lb for 3 reps. And when I squat, my lateral side is definitely more activated than my medial side. So, if the imbalance is caused by a heavy 310 lbs, shouldn't the remedy be a relatively heavy weight as well? The resistance provided by a medicine ball felt really insignificance when I tried it.
    2) When do you know that your imbalance is fixed? Is testing you knees on the same exercises you use to do and see if you feel pain the only way to see if you fixed the imbalance?
    Thanks!

    Reply
  16. Phillip Sargeant Post author

    Great advice, I haven't tried the one with the ball yet, but that simple tip of moving my foot outwards works really well. I can feel the the VMO muscle working (firing) that bit earlier than having my foot in the 12'o'clock position. Big thanks …Phil (UK)

    Reply
  17. Earthdave Post author

    These two exercises might be useful but not for VMO, I think. I did the leg raise and I can feel that my VMO is not tensed at any point in the movement. My physio just showed me a better one: lie on back with foam roller (or firm pillows) under knees which forces legs to be a bit bent. Squeeze a medium sized ball between lower thighs and straighten one leg, hold, then lower. Do ten reps then switch sides. Since the VMO mainly works in the last 30 degress of straightening the leg, this isolates that.

    Reply
  18. Knut The Great Post author

    I'm not sure about synaptic activation of the vastus mediali (if that's a thing, not that this guy said it :-)), but I've read that targeting the muscle for 'separate' strength work is impossible, due to the knee joint moving in a single plane. This is despite no matter how a movement feels or looks on a leg extension with your toes pointed out… and I believe it. The only way to isolate the vastus medialis is with a tens machine (electrical stimulation). I've got one and it works. Other than that, as a lot people know, the plan along with toning the vmo is to loosen the lateral chain (vastus lateralis, TFL, glutes, etc) which all gets overworked in many activities, such as cycling, which is what I do…. and has stuffed up my body by doing it for so long at high intensity without stretching or balancing out the "loading under flexion" that happens on a bike with you're bent over and hammering for hours and hours. 🙂

    Reply

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