This month we will be working on exercises that help with jumping and other dynamic movement. To start off, let’s open up our hips in an active way and the use a variation on a bridge to help engage the posterior chain of the body.
This month we will be exploring our spines. Week one, we are kicking it off with the center of the spine, the thoracic.
We are focusing on the ankles this week. In this first stretch, we are trying to gain ankle mobility in combination with hip mobility, since both are needed for proper gait. The second exercise is a little twist on a calf raise to help you integrate the calf strength with the rest of the posterior chain.
We are back to that back line! The hamstrings do so much to protect our knees. It is important that they stay mobile and strong.
This week we will focus on the function of the quad and hip flexors. We will start with a release of our hamstrings and create some space on the posterior part of the thigh so that we are able to fully engage the anterior part of the thigh.
This week, we will focus on the lower leg below the knee. By increasing the range of motion in the ankle, we can help take pressure off of the knees.
This month, we are going to focus on shoulder health. Follow along all month long and get moves that help create strong, mobile shoulders.
This week we are focusing on hip rotation with our 90/90 mobilization and our shin box press-up.
At my studio, Koa Fit, we work with not only runners and walkers with hip pain, but also cyclists, dancers, golfers, tennis players and a lot more. As said before in my previous posts about foot pain and knee pain, “hip pain” is a broad term. Most importantly, your hip pain could actually be back pain in disguise. It is important to know if your hip pain is a symptom of overuse/misuse or if it is nerve pain. A physical therapist can run you through some tests to help you identify where your pain is coming from.
For the purpose of this post, I am going to be addressing the hip pain in the upper hamstring that is usually associated with activity. It normally comes about during or after strenuous activity and feels like a a deep ache or muscle strain located where your leg meets your bum in the back. Any pain that feels “sharp” or “burn-y” is most likely nerve pain and you will need more evaluation before getting appropriate exercises.
To help relieve and prevent the onset of hip pain, try the exercises below. Even with the absence of hip pain, these exercises are good to perform to keep the hips moving smoothly and to avoid over-tightness.
Let’s move on to the 2nd biggest complaint among runners and walkers, knee pain (if you have the 1st, foot pain, please see my last post). I know “knee pain” is such a broad term, but let’s start big picture and then move into the details.
Pain in the knee, if not caused by trauma (getting side-tackled for example), comes from a dysfunction of your biomechanics, or movements. The movement I am talking about most is your gait, whether walking or running. When you have a breakdown in the mechanics of your gait, that deficiency gets highlighted over thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands of repetitions with each training session.
It is important to have a professional assess your walking and running patterns to identify any inefficiencies you may have in your stride. But for now, we are going to focus on one of the more common points of pain, patellofemoral pain. This is the pain commonly felt just below the kneecap and is usually a signal of over-used quadriceps and an under-utilized posterior kinetic chain (arch, calves, hamstrings, and glutes).
Try the exercises below to help prevent the onset of patellofemoral pain and keep your knees happy!