View Full Version : Knee pain and the horse stance...

08-27-2000, 07:42 PM
I have begun training the horses stance. I can hold the position for about 2 minutes now, but training hurts my knees. I want to get strong legs but don't want to injure myself! Is there something wrong with my posture? Or should I just do less than my leg muscles can withstand so that my joint can "catch up"? I've read that the knee should be above the foot. Does this mean I should be perfectly square? Or should (when looking from the front) my feet be a little out from my knees like I see in a lot of pictures? Is it that I need to stretch my groin muscles so that when I go low my knees don't jut out but stay above my feet better?Drawing/pictures showing the horse stance from the top, side, and front would be great. I know there was a thread about this awhile ago, but I can't find it.
Thanks for the help.

08-27-2000, 07:56 PM
For only VERY specific, and pretty rare applications do you ever want you knees outside of your feet. In American Kenpo, the knee is over the foot, making you perfectly square. However in most Kung Fu I have seen, most do leave their feet outside of their knee. Obviously, the square way is more strenuous, and I've found that it gives you a much better "grip" on the ground. However, it is harder on the knee at first. You've already stumbled on one of the reasons. The tightness of the groin, inner thigh, and hip muscles. Keep them loose and you'll find allot less stress on the knee. Also, make sure you aren't leaned over at all, as this will hurt your knees super fast. Any forward weight is focused at the knee joint, so make sure you have good proper body alignment.


Wah Ren Jie
08-27-2000, 08:12 PM
You've got it right about keeping the shins ponting striaght up in the air. The worst thing you can do to your knees is do the Limbo when in horse stance. Work on keeping your knees as far apart as possible when in horse stance. Also, lightly wrapping your knees with an ace bandage or using sleeves will help to keep everything in place while you're training. Try not to do it all of the time though, or you'll end up depending on them. There is a horse stance thread on the Southern kung fu board. Check it out.

08-27-2000, 08:15 PM
While I too practice martial arts I have not practiced the horse stance or pratice a very low form. I do have very strong legs from how I do practice the form though and that is through proper body mechanics.

I have also been an athlete my whole life and speak from experience on that end, I have also heard some stories about those who practice their form very low and the reprocutions from that after many years.

Speaking as an athlete I know that it is important to build the body up in incremence, anything that hurts is not right. There is good pain though and bad, intuitively people should be able to pick up on the difference. I also know that the knees are a very sensitive area and whtever you do should take as much pressure off of the knees while focusing more in the butt and thigh area. The cartiladge in the knee joint is always under so much wear and tear that when you can give it a break you should.

There is also a Tai Chi practitioner who is very well known for doing his form while holding a very low stance. He is a master revered by many and a classmate of my teacher, but has suffered a great deal from his practices. He has had to have reconstructive surgery to replace the worn out cartiladge and has had to cancel many of his teacing appointments because of this.

I urge you to be really careful, especially if you feel pain.

08-27-2000, 10:31 PM
I think I found out my problem! I definately need to work on pulling my legs apart as much as possible when doing the horse stance(like doing the splits). I just gave that a try after some stretching and the knee stress disappeared. I just need to get more flexible so I don't feel like I have to use my muscles to "suck" back my thighs to keep them from falling too far forward.
Thanks for the advice.