Anatomical Differences of the Knee

Knock Knees – This is where the individual’s knees face inward. It is hard or not possible for their heels to touch when their knees are touching in a normal parallel position. A person with knock knees is more likely to have issues with pronation. These dancers have to think hard about their weight being over the center of their foot and also pay close attention to getting the knees over the toes in the plie position.

Bow Legs – This happens when a person’s knees do not touch when their heel can. With this issue, the dancer’s weight goes over the outside of their foot, so they have to be careful not to roll their ankle. There is a good side to this one in that their legs most of the time look more turned out than you are.

Hyper-extended knees – These are knees that seem to bend backward or “over straighten”. This type if knee is favored in ballet because it makes each line look beautiful. These type of knees are very prone to injury because they tend to be weak. It is important to strengthen the thighs and quads to support the knees.

Hypo-extended Knees – This type of knee will not straighten no matter how hard the dancer tries.  This knee is undesirable for dancers, but putting the body at slightly different angles can help to compensate for the disadvantage of their knee structure.

Unfortunately, it is impossible to change the shape of your knees, so it is important to learn how to dance with what you’ve got.


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