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  • Hip Mobility Routine

    I've been having some knee pain when I squat. I know that improving hip mobility can help resolve some knee problems, so I'm trying to put together a good routine. I started with some movements in the T-Nation Bulletproof Knees article.

    http://www.t-nation.com/free_online_...letproof_knees

    1. Hip Abduction with resistance band

    Any advice on what band might work well for these? I was thinking about ordering a short band from Elitefts http://www.flexcart.com/members/elit...id=138&bid=210

    2. Rectus femoris stretch (from Bulletproof Knees article)

    3. Wall squats

    I've seen these done facing a wall or with back sliding up and down against the wall. Which is better?

    4. Lying leg raises

    5. Heel drags (sitting on the floor with legs straight out in front, drag heel towards buttocks slowly, then slide foot back to starting position)

  • #2
    I did this routine twice yesterday, and my left hip is very sore today. I must really have some mobility issues with that hip that I was unaware of. The left knee does feel a little better though.

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    • #3
      Id do the wall squats facing the wall. Like toes an inch or so away, chest up, knees out, nose sliding down and up the wall. Forces your chest to stay up and puts you in a good stretch.

      I generally use a hip mobility warm up I found from Joe DeFranco. Its Rolling V-Sits, Fire Hydrants, Mountain Climbers and Groiners.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiA0-IatUrY
      "Start kicking ass, and take out the crap that doesnt matter. Start doing and believing in the stuff that works, and do it today and forever. You want science and studies? Fuck you. Ive got scars and blood and vomit." - Jim Wendler

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      • #4
        Where does your knee hurt? A TON of people have postural and mobility issues that manifest in knee and low back pain. I'd encourage you to look at the rest of your posture as well, not just the knee and hip. Mike Robertson is awesome with functional anatomy and in diagnosing structural imbalances and prescribing corrective exercise. I didn't the article yet, but I'd assume he also mentions some other areas that may be of concern. Do you also notice any of the following: forward head posture, lack of thoracic mobility or upper back tightness, lack of shoulder mobility, anterior pelvic tilt or lordsis, or lack of ankle flexability? Those, along with the hips and knees are the big common dysfunctions.

        Having an anterior pelvic tilt (waistband faces downward) has implications on the femur. Specifically, anterior tilt of the pelvis forces the femur into internal rotation. This places stress on the lateral part of the thigh, most notably the vastus lateralis muscle and the tensor fascia latae (TFL) and iliotibial band (ITB). These areas become shortened, tight, and are usually implicated in cases of lateral knee pain. To fix this you should work on activating your glutes with things like glute bridges, strengthen your anterior core with things like prone bridges, rollouts, etc., stretch your hamstring group, and do tissue work on your lateral thigh like foam rolling.

        Also, inward rotation of the femurs carry on to the tibiae, it’s important to note that a condition known as genu valgum or knock knees often develops. With this condition, the tibia abducts or moves away from the midline of the body relative to the femur. This can place a great deal of stress on the medial aspect of the knee.

        There has been a decent amount of talk about pain that is related to muscular/structural dysfunction and imbalance. I discussed an exercise to take a look at where specifically you may have dysfunction that may prove helpful to you. You can find the thread here:
        http://www.intensemuscle.com/showthread.php?t=44813

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        • #5
          In addition to what knickerbocker has said, keep an eye on your foot position as well when squatting. Make sure you are on the heels and outside parts of your feet and that you have a strong arch in your foot while squatting. Squatting with fallen arches kills your stability and doesn't allow you to properly "push your knees out". Fallen arches also increase the rotation of tibia which would greatly increase the stress on the medial/inside part of the knee.
          "Being tired isn't the same as being rich, but most times it's close enough" Chuck Palahnuik

          "The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least"

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ajweins View Post
            In addition to what knickerbocker has said, keep an eye on your foot position as well when squatting. Make sure you are on the heels and outside parts of your feet and that you have a strong arch in your foot while squatting. Squatting with fallen arches kills your stability and doesn't allow you to properly "push your knees out". Fallen arches also increase the rotation of tibia which would greatly increase the stress on the medial/inside part of the knee.
            That's my problem. What can be done about fallen arches?

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            • #7
              There could be a few things going on. Squatting requires a certain amount of dorsiflexion (bringing you foot up towards your shin). The pronated foot scenario is related to tightness of the plantarflexors (calves). Sometimes the person pronates the foot to overcome a compromised range of motion in dorsiflexion. Here obviously improving dorsiflexion ROM is helpful and tissue work like foam rolling or lax ball work and stretching the calf complex will help.

              People can also compensate for this lack of dorsiflexion by externally rotating the feet. As a result, there’s usually shortening of the lateral leg musculature and lengthening/inhibition of the anterior leg musculature in the lower extremity. The proximal and distal tibiae positions give a valgus or knock-knee appearance of the entire leg complex. However, sometimes the dysfunction can be occurring at the pelvis. It can drive pronation from the top down due to poor hip strength and mobility.

              Sometimes barefoot training can help. Deadlifting barefoot, bowler squats barefoot, etc. may help. Basically, just use it for situations where foot positioning doesn’t change. Strengthening the small muscles of the feet and improving proprioception may also be beneficial. And, improving dorsiflexion ROM would be an added benefit by doing things like the 3-way wall ankle mobility drill.

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              • #8
                thanks knickerbocker lots of good info.
                life is a battle at every front, training is a war I fight to win- Lee priest (I think)

                Nothing great comes without sacrifice- Oscar Ardon

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                • #9
                  I generally use a hip mobility warm up I found from Joe DeFranco. Its Rolling V-Sits, Fire Hydrants, Mountain Climbers and Groiners.

                  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tiA0-IatUrY

                  Agree with this bigtime. been doing it prior to lower body workouts of any kind for two years. No knee pain (except for the occasional awkward machine exercise) and my hip mobility freaks out friends and chiropractors regularly.

                  And girls at the club. I can drop that shit low yall:club:

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                  • #10
                    Just to add on a little bit to what knickerbocker said (which is great info)....

                    When squatting or deadlifting (or any standing exercise), you want you foot to be in a position called subtalar joint neutral. This is just a fancy word for saying your foot is in a stable, supportive neutral position. When you have fallen arches or when you foot in pronated (basically when your arch falls), your foot is in a flexible position that is designed to absorb force as you are walking. This absorption of force starts and the foot and goes all the way up the chain in your body. So you can see how you don't want you an absorptive, flexible foot when you have a ton of weight on your back.

                    What you want is your foot in more of a supinated position which emphasizes stability and force production. Your foot naturally goes into this position when you are pushing off during walking.

                    I feel its a lot easier to let your arches fall when you are squatting if you toes are pointed waaayyyyy out. If your feet are pointed straightish its a lot easier for me at least to keep a good arch in my foot and keep the weight on the heels and outsides of my feet instead of allowing my arch to collapse. I definitely agree with knickerbocker in that I see a ton of people who compensate for lack of dorsiflexion by externally rotating the foot and this allows their dorsiflexion to increase greatly. My wife has this and the difference in dorsiflexion is night and day.

                    I encourage all of you when stretching your calves and such to make sure your toes are pointed straight and you foot is in a neutral (and definitely not pronated) position. As knickerbocker stated, you could be neglecting the lateral compartment of the calf if your stretching while pronated.
                    "Being tired isn't the same as being rich, but most times it's close enough" Chuck Palahnuik

                    "The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least"

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                    • #11
                      I am so glad I found this!

                      Great read

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                      • #12
                        My knee has been hurting at the base of the patella. I've been doing the hip mobility exercises I listed in the first post. The knee feels a little better, but my upper glutes have been sore as hell the past few days. Is this from hip immobility and introducing these new exercises?

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                        • #13
                          I would bet that would be the new exercises my friend. Especially the abduction with band. Its waking up the glutes. I have been trying to do 100 reps a day of hip external rotations where I double up a miniband, wrap it around my knee, sit down, and drive my knees out hard. My butt is sore too. Ha.
                          "Being tired isn't the same as being rich, but most times it's close enough" Chuck Palahnuik

                          "The richest man is not he who has the most, but he who needs the least"

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ajweins View Post
                            Its waking up the glutes.
                            Agreed, in combination with a likely tight set of hamstrings and inhibited quads...they are now seeing the load they have sorely missed

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Ajweins View Post
                              I would bet that would be the new exercises my friend. Especially the abduction with band. Its waking up the glutes. I have been trying to do 100 reps a day of hip external rotations where I double up a miniband, wrap it around my knee, sit down, and drive my knees out hard. My butt is sore too. Ha.
                              I think its actually the wall squats that are killing my glutes. I try to squat as deep and controlled as possible. I haven't been doing the abduction with band yet because I don't have any bands. I ordered a short mini and a short monster mini from Elitefts. I'm just waiting for them to get here so I can add that abduction exercise.

                              That external rotation exercise you talked about sounds like it would really help build solid hip and glute strength. Do you do them on a bench at the gym or just at home on a chair?

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