Understanding the hip’s role in knee biomechanics is incredibly important. It’s a huge part of injury prevention of the knee. Now that we know why this is important we’ll talk about a few ways to work on it. Easy Peasy.
If you missed part 1 where we explain how the hip and foot affect motion at the knee click HERE:
If you missed part II we spoke about addressing the foot to troubleshoot problems that may occur at the knee. You can find that article HERE:
The specific muscles we are trying to hit are the lateral hip rotators and the gluteus maximus and medius (which are also lateral/external rotators of the hip). These are the muscles that are going to help keep the knees in line with the toes and keep the knees from falling into that crappy genu valgus position.
I like to put these exercises either into the beginning or end of a training session. Just make sure that if you decide to put these exercises into your warm-up don’t go to failure. We still need the hips to be fresh to keep your knees in alignment during your training session. If you fatigue them thoroughly before doing your main lifts then you may be causing more harm then good. Here are my favorites:
Wall Squat with mini band
This is a great one because it reinforces awesome squatting mechanics (Hips back, chest up) and hits those external rotators in a functional position.
Single Leg Glute Bridge
Try and keep the band toward your toes because this forces you to work harder to resist internal rotation of the hip.
If you’re doing two lower body days per week then try and add 1-2 of these exercises at the beginning or end of your workout. Try 1-2 sets of 10-15 repetitions of each. You’re knees will thank me.
Remember that there is not substitute for poor form. Actively keep your knees in alignment when lifting, running or jumping and you should be knee pain and injury free!
Give these exercises a shot and tell me what to think. If you have a favorite hip exercise that I haven’t listed let me know about it!
Yours in good health,
P.S. Remember this information is not to be used for the diagnosis or treatment of knee problems. Consult a professional if you are concerned you may have some type of knee injury.
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