How to Fix Arc Legs | Exercises to straighten the bow legs for adults

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It is very normal for a child’s legs to be bent outwards when they are young. Known as bow legs, this condition usually reverses when they begin to walk. But what do you do when this problem follows you into adulthood or develops later in life? Depending on the severity of your condition, your bow legs may not be noticeable to those around you, but it can cause significant pain when you’re walking and especially when you’re active. .

Some cases of bows are caused by bone deformities and can only be corrected through surgery. But if your muscles are tight due to a vitamin deficiency or another cause, you may find relief by doing the adult bow legs straightening exercises.

How to fix bow legs

What is Bowel Foot Syndrome?

The proper medical term for bows legs syndrome is genu varum, but the condition is also commonly known as bows legs, bows legs, bows legs, tibia rotator cuffs, and varus deformity. When you have this problem, your leg curves outward, creating a large or small gap between the knees.

Bow legs are common in infants and toddlers due to their position in the womb. However, it usually goes away on its own as the child gets older and begins to walk and bear the weight of the leg.

When bowed legs appear in adults, it is often the result of Blount’s disease, fracture, bone irregularity, fluoride or lead poisoning, nutritional deficiencies, or osteoarthritis.

Depending on the severity of your condition, you may experience minor inconveniences related to mild pain and lack of balance or major problems with mobility. You may not need medical treatment, be prescribed an orthopedic brace, or be advised to have surgery.

The challenge of living with bows

When your leg is bent outward, it puts undue stress on different parts of your body, which can cause pain or even further injury.

Pain and Damaged Joints

Knee pain is a common complaint among people with bow legs syndrome. It happens because your knee is under an unbalanced load; this can cause the cartilage to be overstretched and cause the bones to rub against each other. Other areas of the body commonly affected by bow legs include the hips, thighs, shins, and ankles.

You may notice some soreness when completing daily activities like walking or climbing stairs. But your knee, joint, and muscle pain can really flare up when you perform high-impact exercises, like running and playing sports, due to increased stress.

Continuing to participate in high-impact activities while with bow legs can lead to permanent damage. You could tear a ligament, develop Achilles tendonitis, or even cause osteoarthritis.

Problems of Balance

People with genu varum also tend to have an increased risk of balance problems due to the way your center of mass changes as you move. Balance problems can make it difficult to walk, climb stairs, or even stand.

7 exercises to help straighten bow legs

Depending on the cause and severity of your bow legs, you can do exercises to help reduce pain and limit the bend. These types of exercises are called neuromuscular exercises, which focus on stretching and strengthening the muscles around the knees, hips, and thighs to help better align the joints.

1. Tendon strain

hamstring strain

  1. Sit down on the floor.
  2. Straighten one leg out in front of you.
  3. Bend the other foot in so that the arch of the foot touches the outside of the other knee.
  4. Bend the ankle of the straight leg forward, pointing your toes.
  5. Hold the pose for a minute, and then relax.
  6. Reverse the position of the legs and repeat the exercise with the new leg straight.
  7. Repeat the exercise three times for each leg.

2. Groin stretch

  1. Stand up straight with your feet wide apart.
  2. Shifting your weight to the left, bend your left knee until it hovers over your left foot.
  3. Make sure both feet are facing forward, then hold the pose for 30 seconds.
  4. Return to your original standing position.
  5. Switch sides and perform the exercise on your other side by shifting your weight to the right and bending your right knee.
  6. Repeat the exercise three times for each side.

3. Piriformis Stretch

  1. Lie on your back on a hard or semi-hard surface.
  2. Keeping your shoulders flat, stretch your arms out to your sides until they’re level with your shoulders. Your body will resemble the letter T.
  3. Lift right leg up and keep it straight, over hip and left leg.
  4. Extend your raised leg, bringing your left foot as close to the ground as possible. Do not lift your shoulders.
  5. Hold the pose for 30 seconds, then slowly return to the starting position.
  6. Repeat the exercise with your other leg.
  7. Repeat the exercise 10 times with each leg.

4. Figure Four Stretches

  1. Lie on your back on a hard or semi-hard surface.
  2. Bend your knees, bringing them up until your feet are flat on the ground.
  3. Lift your left leg up, bringing it up until it rests on your thigh just above your right knee.
  4. Raise your shoulders slightly, bring your hands down and grab your right thigh.
  5. Pull it towards you, lifting your right foot off the ground.
  6. Bring your shoulders and head back to the ground, continuing to pull your legs back.
  7. You’ll know you’re in the right position when you feel a stretch in your buttocks and thighs.
  8. Hold the position for 10 seconds, then return to the starting position.
  9. Repeat the exercise using the opposite leg.
  10. Repeat the exercise 5 times with each leg.

5. Roll up toe towels

  1. Roll the towel to the width and keep it within reach. You can also use a foam roller if you have one.
  2. Stand up straight, feet a few inches apart.
  3. Place the rolled up towel between your legs, and press your thighs and knees with your hands to keep the towel in place.
  4. Keeping your legs straight, slowly bend forward to touch your toes. Bend as much as you can without hurting or bending your legs.
  5. Slowly return to the starting position and rest for 10 seconds.
  6. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

6. Toes-In Squat

  1. Stand up straight with your feet a few inches apart.
  2. Turn your feet inward until the big toes touch. Your foot should look like an arrow pointing forward.
  3. Slowly lower yourself into a squatting position, lowering as far as you can without pain. Note that your range of motion is limited with this exercise, so you may not be able to squat as low as you normally would.
  4. Hold the pose for 10 seconds, and then slowly return to a standing position.
  5. Repeat the exercise 10 times.

7. Inner hip rotation

  1. Lie down on a hard or semi-hard surface.
  2. Roll your body to the side, place your upper body on the ground, and place your foot on top of the other.
  3. Bend your knees back about 90 degrees. Your body should now form a straight line from your head to your knees, with your shins and feet behind you.
  4. Making sure your knees are together, elevate your top and bottom feet a few inches. This will naturally cause your hips to rotate inward.
  5. Repeat the exercise 10 times, then roll over to the other side to raise and lower the opposite leg.

Frequently asked questions

I have bow legs?

While the best way to diagnose bow legs is to consult your doctor, there is a simple test you can perform that can give you some insight.

First, find a full-body mirror to make it easier for you to examine yourself. Stand up straight with your feet a few inches apart. Move one foot to the other side so that your foot and ankle touch each other.

As soon as your ankle makes contact with the other ankle, your knee should also touch. If you notice a space between your knees, you may be suffering from genu varum.

If you notice that your knees are touching before you move your ankles together, you may be experiencing knee knock. Like bow legs, the knee joint is common in childhood and usually resolves by the time a child begins to walk. However, you can develop it in adulthood due to a joint condition.

Do I need to fix my bow legs?

Only your doctor can advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstances, but in most cases you’ll want to treat bow legs. If you ignore your condition, you may experience pain and possibly damage your joints.

What options are there to fix bow legs?

Physical therapy and practicing exercises that strengthen the muscles of your legs, knees, and hips may be an option to immobilize your bow legs, depending on its cause and severity. Another option may be to wear corrective braces.

In cases where bow legs are the result of a deformity of your leg bones, the best treatment may be surgery. Before making any decisions, seek professional medical advice from your doctor, physiotherapist or orthopedic surgeon for help with your specific condition.


There are a number of reasons why you may develop bow legs as an adult. But whatever the cause, this is not a condition you have to live with. If your muscles are tight because your knees, thighs, or hips are tight, you can do exercises to stretch and strengthen these areas. For many of these exercises, you won’t need any equipment, although foam rollers or resistance bands can provide more of a challenge, while yoga carpet can make hard surface more comfortable.

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