Although bow- leggedness can be an easily preventable condition, unfortunately many people still suffer from mild to severe forms of it and feel like they hate how their legs look.
Although it often doesn’t affect people’s ability to walk, the truth is that bow-leggedness can be embarrassing, especially during the summer months as the temperature rises and long skirts or trousers become impractical.
Here are a few things everyone should know about bow legs.
Everyone is born with bow legs.
Every newborn’s legs are completely bow legged.
This is a result of being curled up in the womb and is completely normal. In fact, by the time people start walking, their legs are still slightly bowed. In most cases, the bowing corrects itself, but in some circumstances, the bowing can persist into adulthood.
This can cause, later in life, early onset of arthritis, particularly in the knees. However, the ankles, hips, spine and shoulders can also be affected, particularly if one leg is more bowed than the other.
Being Bow Legged Can Get You Down
Although we probably know that we shouldn’t be overly obsessed with the way we look and that we can’t all be Brangelina, having bow legs can make you seriously self-conscious.
You might find yourself unwilling to be anyplace in public when people can see your legs. People have an unfortunate habit of laughing at things that they don’t understand and therefore can’t sympathise with.
It’s like you’re fine until some smart Alec notices and decides to point it out to everyone. Yeah, thanks mate. Friends like these, eh?
Don’t miss this program which teaches you what NOT to do if you have bow legs.
Bow Legs Correction and Diet
Calcium and vitamin D play a strong role in the development of healthy bones and joints, and in their maintenance once fully grown.
People generally develop bow legs because of a deficiency in these things as they grow. Also, Essential Fatty Acids, such as are found in seed and fish oils, play a key part in growth and repair.
If you have bow legs and are looking to correct them, it would be wise to examine your diet and make sure you are getting enough of these things. If your body is going to repair itself, then you must provide it with the raw materials to do so. Natural and robust health is always a good starting place for any treatment you are embarking on.
Bow Legs Correction Doesn’t Have to Involve Surgery
Yes! It’s true. Although the medical establishment has long thought that bow-legged adults must simply get used to their condition or go under the knife, recent advances in health science have allowed us to develop a range of exercises that can begin to straighten bow legs and, with a little time and patience, fix bow leggedness completely.
The trick to bow leg correction is basically to thoroughly and gently encourage the legs to assume their natural state.
The leg is designed to bear weight more or less vertically, with no bend at the fully extended knee.
The legs are far stronger this way. What this means is that your body will be happy to put this right if you are willing to take the time to correct the problem.
How to Fix Bow Legs – Bow Leg Exercises
We are encouraged to think of all the parts of our body as separate things or systems. Even from the old song, Head, and Shoulders, Knees and Toes, Knees and Toes! In fact, the reverse is true. The body is a system which is more usefully considered as a whole.
What this means is that having bow legs can affect the feet, the ankles, hips, spine, neck, and shoulders. If one leg is more bowed than the other, the rest of the body tends to work to correct the imbalance, and this results in people holding one shoulder higher than the other, or standing with their hips always at an angle.
So, the very best exercises for bow legs are those that are part of a program to balance and strengthen the whole body.
Want a powerful and natural exercise program which has been designed especially to correct bow legs without surgery?
Five Simple Exercises to Fix Bowed Legs
Ankles – the Gentle Calf Raise
The aim of the game is to strengthen and stimulate the legs to regain their proper alignment, so let’s start with the ankles.
For this exercise you will need:
A Step (that’s it)
How to do it:
Stand on the step, preferably in your bare feet or socks, facing up the steps. Position yourself so that only the front part of your foot is on the step, taking care not to over balance forwards or backwards. Focus on standing tall and bringing your knees together as much and as comfortably as you are able.
Raise yourself up on your toes, hold for a moment, then lower yourself back down. When your feet are level with the step again, allow your heels to drop below the level of the step as far as is comfortable. Hold for a second, then raise yourself back up to the starting position.
Repeat until you have completed twelve raises and lowerings.
It can be useful to have something to hold onto to maintain your balance during this exercise. As you continue, your balance and strength will improve, and you may be able to add more repetitions as you please.
This exercise will give you truly shapely calves, and improve the flexibility of your ankles, and begin the process of their re-alignment.
Knees – The Gentle Squat
Since the knees are ground zero for bow legs, it is essential that any exercises you do involving the knees are done with extreme care to avoid over-taxing them. The aim of the game is to fix them, so any hint of pain while exercising the knees must signal an immediate halt! Either tone down the exercise a little, or rest entirely and come back to them another day.
For this exercise you will need:
You may have guessed it, the knee exercise here is the humble squat.
Now, you may think that squatting is the last thing you should try and do and that your knees have not allowed you to happily squat in the past, but the key point here is to work within your own limits.
It doesn’t matter if you feel like an old person when you’re doing it – start as gently as you possibly can. These exercises will only work with time and patience. Remember, small steps!
How to do it:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, and toes pointed slightly outwards. Put your hands behind your head.
As slowly and gently as you are able, bend your knees and lower yourself down towards a squatting position, keeping your back straight and as upright as you are able. It can help to keep your eyes focussed on a high point to encourage you not to bend over as you squat.
When you feel your muscles working to hold your position note the depth of your squat, and then slowly straighten your legs to take you back to the starting position.
Do not, repeat, do not just go hell for leather dropping yourself down at speed and rocketing yourself back up.
These are re-alignment exercises, not interval strength training. The purpose is to gently find the limits imposed by the bow legging, and gradually and carefully push those limits back. Eventually, you will be able to progress to doing full squats without straining your knees and worsening your problem.
Hips – The Gentle Side Leg Raise
This is a gentle exercise anyway, but as with all of these exercises, the focus is on discovering and gradually and gently pushing your limits, not on blasting anything. This is not a bodybuilding course.
You will need:
A chair with a back on it, or a level banister
How to do it:
Stand with your left hand on the chair back. Shift your weight to your left leg. Gradually begin to raise the right leg out to the side, away from the midline of your body. Raise it until you begin to feel your muscles working to maintain the position, then slowly lower your leg to the starting position. Repeat twelve times.
Then turn around and repeat the whole process with your other leg.
Remember, the focus is on gently finding your limitations.
There is no room for pride or for copying anyone else. The key thing is to listen to your own body, and only push yourself as far as is comfortable. Simply by repeating these exercises gently every day, you will naturally find yourself able to lift your leg higher for longer, but do not try to hurry the process.
Back and shoulders – The Swinging Arm Twist
This is a beautifully simple exercise that can be done anywhere you have space to swing your arms.
You will need:
How to do it:
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Let your arms hang loosely at your sides. Keeping your feet in the same position, turn to the right 45 degrees. You will find your loose arms swing a little to follow your turned head and shoulders.
Just as the arms swing against your body, immediately turn back the other way, so that your arms bounce against you and promptly swing back around in the other direction.
As soon as your arms hit your body again, turn back again to the right.
It’s a very natural movement that we’ve all done from time to time, but it’s a beauty for loosening up the spine and hips and shoulders. Carry on for as long as you like, taking care not to overdo your twisting – it is actually possible to do injure yourself doing just this if you are careless.
You will find that your arms swing higher and higher as you get into this exercise, and slap satisfying into your body each time your reverse your direction. It’s a great exercise for stimulating the lymphatic system too.
Full Body! – Downward Facing Dog
The final exercise is the most complicated of them all, but also perhaps the most useful. You may know this move from Yoga – it is amongst the first that get taught at any beginner’s yoga class.
In fact, yoga is just chock full of exercises that can benefit virtually any problem you care to name, including, of course, bow legs.
You must exercise caution at all times when attempting these exercises, and more so with Downward Facing Dog, since it is the most complicated exercise in this series.
Don’t worry! It’s still very straightforward.
However, it is recommended to go to a good instructor to learn how to do this exercise to your best advantage. You can find many videos online of how to do it too, but nothing beats personal instruction, even if you only stay in class long enough to learn this one move!
You will need:
A yoga mat (or any non-slippery surface)
How to do it:
Kneel down on your mat and place your palms on the mat in front of you. You are aiming to get your thighs and arms perpendicular to the ground. Hands shoulder width apart, knees hip-width apart. Leave your feet and toes pointing out behind you.
Raise your heels and bring your toes under, so that your toes are gripping the mat comfortably.
Push down with both hands and straighten your knees, raising your bum into the air as high as you comfortably can, so that your arms, head, and back are in a straight line to your hips and your legs are straight. Stay up on your toes.
Allow yourself to breathe as deeply as you can while holding this pose. Pull in your stomach as much as you can. Hold this position for the count of 6.
As you exhale, gradually lower your heels towards the mat, feeling the stretch along the back of your legs.
Push with your hands against the mat as you push your heels down as far as you comfortably can. Continue to breathe deeply and gently. Hold the pose for the count of 6.
When you are ready, simply bend your knees and return to the starting position.
Repeat this process as many times as you can manage, being careful always to stay within your limits unless you are with a qualified instructor who can encourage you to push them safely.
So there you have it, five things everyone should know about bow legs, and five exercises you can do to begin to correct the problem.
Find Out Dr. Brown’s Proven Exercises for Straightening Bow Legs and Correcting Knock Knees
Bow Legs No More is a program designed by Dr. Sarah Brown specifically to help people fix their bow legs through natural exercises. Also included are specific instructions of what NOT to do if you have bow legs – this part blew my mind!
Head over to my review of Bow Legs No More.