The second most common location of sports injuries are knee injuries. The more common injuries being ACL, MCL, and meniscus tears. These continuously plague average Joes / Janes and athletes alike. And while there is no absolute guarantee, they could’ve been avoided. But how can you take proper precautions to avoid what could be a career ending injury?
Meat and Potatoes | Train Smarter
Your hips are important for both your core and your legs. A strong ass will always yield a stable knee and ankle. It will also helps transfer energy from your lower body to your upper body with the help of your core (it’s part of it). But what’s the easiest way to make it stronger?
Keep it Simple
Referring back to the planes of motion article (Link below), movement in all 3 planes of motion is important for a plethora of reasons. Strengthening muscles in these planes is even more so.
Simple. Basic. Not exactly sexy, but gosh is it effective. Being sure to keep your core tight via posterior pelvic tilt, squeeze your glutes and drive your heels into the ground, lifting your hips off the ground.
Add height slowly. If you feel this in your lower back instead of your butt, your back is working more than your butt. Remember to keep your lower back “pushed into the ground.” As you progress higher, add 3 point hip lifts.
Take the “paint me like one of your french girls” position, knees and feet together. Open and close your knees while keeping your hips and torso facing the same position, avoiding rolling backwards.
Remember, the goal is not to raise your knee as high as you can, but rather have efficient movement and activate the correct muscle groups. Put your hand on your hip and try and feel the muscles working under your hand.
Hip Thrusters / Weighted Hip Lifts
A progression of the basic hip lift, these can be done with a dumbbell at first and progress to a barbell. This is probably one of the safest ways to load the basic hip lift. There is no real ceiling as to how high you’re able to progress with weights, except for running out of room on the bar.
It will be better to keep the weight low at first and increase the static hold at the top of the movement. Static holds can range from 1-10 seconds.
Hip Circle / Resistance Band Work
Utilizing resistance bands that fit around your knee is a great progression. One brand we use a lot of is Mark Bell Slingshot (link to his site below). Mark Bell created the hip circle, which is great for standing knee pushes, lateral band walks, and squats.
Reverse Hypers are great for a warm up or a finishes. Needing minimal to no external weight, they strengthen and coordinate the entire posterior chain at once.
Not many gyms may have them, but your can get the same movement and benefit from utilizing glute ham raise (GHR) machines.
As I mentioned earlier, nothing is full proof. There is no guaranteed exercise or drill that will prevent injuries from happening. If that was the case, there would be no injury reports in professional sports. Sh!t happens, but, there are measures you can take to decrease the risk and odds of injuries taking place.
Get Mark Bell’s Hip Circle here – https://markbellslingshot.com/collections/hip-circles