The Yoga Addiction

42: Know Your Knee Anatomy Part 1

The Yoga Addiction
42: Know Your Knee Anatomy Part 1

The knee is a very important part of your body, connecting almost all of your body weight into your ankles and feet! In this episode, we give the knee the respect it deserves, breaking down the basic anatomy and structures that we as yoga teachers should be aware of. We start with the bones, then the cartilage, then ligaments and finally many of the muscles involved in moving the knee. We tease out a bit about the mechanics, postures, and muscular tendencies that we've seen or experienced. Stay tuned for Part 2 of this journey into the knee as we'll go even deeper into poses to avoid/practice, ranges of motion that are normal, and hyperflexibility of the knee.




  • Basic anatomy of the knee (7:16)
  • The main bones of the knee: femur, tibia, fibula, patella (13:27)
  • the "knuckles" of the femur and tibia, and the meniscus that cushions in between (14:36)
  • Ligaments of the knee: (16:53)
    -Collateral ligaments - lateral and medial
    -Cruciate ligaments - anterior and posterior
  • Of the two menisci, the medial meniscus tends to be more sensitive than the lateral one because it's attached to the fascia of the MCL, both the ACL and PCL and the semimembranosus (hamstring muscle) (25:54)
  • What would you say generally in a modern yoga class for knee pain (29:02)
  • The muscles that affect the knee: (32:49)
    1) Quadriceps (Rectus femoris, vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, vastus intermedialis)
    2) Adductors, Sartorius, Gracilis, inner hamstring
    3) Hamstrings (Semimembranosis, biceps femoris, semitendinosus), plantaris, popliteus
    4) Calf muscles: gastrocnemius, soleus
    5) Lateral side of the thigh: IT Band, TFL, glut max, lateral quad and hamstring
    6) Tibialis anterior, tibialis posterior, and fibularis on the lateral side of the shin 
  • Knowing why we are doing poses will help us figure out how to modify and find alternatives when someone has pain (57:36)




Knee Anatomy Video - creepy skeleton talking about anatomy

Knee info from Medicinenet

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Brought to you by Natalie Senger and Sandy Huen of The Yoga Addiction