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According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons
, women are two to 10 times more likely to suffer a knee injury than men, thanks to a biomechanical difference in the angle of our hips to our knees called our "Q-angle."
"Because of wider hips, women's knees are more vulnerable to high-impact activities like plyometrics, sprinting, or sports like soccer that require quick changes of direction," says Steve Toms, head of personal training for Lifetime Fitness and corrective exercise specialist.
Since you can't change your bone structure, Toms suggests strengthening the muscles that surround your pelvis to boost core stability. It sounds counterintuitive, but for many women, the key to ameliorating knee pain is building strength in the glutes and hips. Try adding frontal-plane lunges to your routine and working your way up to single-leg exercises to build stability in the hips, Toms advises.
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