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Hip Solutions to heal your Knees.

Posted Apr 30 2011 12:00am
A lot can go wrong with a wheel -the tyre may be worn out or punctured,but as long as the hub and axle are intact things can be mended.
A lot can go wrong with our knees but as long as the other two joints glutes and ankles are strong, knees can be healed.The Gluteus is the Maximus because it is biggest muscle of your body.It is the hub, the Core from which your lower body movement and upper body stability is generated.
 The hip cuff is the control unit for your lower body. It governs the thigh, which interacts with your knee and affects your foot position. The centrality of the hip cuff is why tremendous attention must be paid to strengthening the muscles in and around the area, as they are critical in controlling everything below your hips, and everything above as well. The easiest route to better knees lies in making your glutes stronger. Weak glutes spell knee and lower back pain sooner or later. I exercise carefully, I do a lot of Posterior Chain strength training yet at times my knee karma gets the better of me.Why?
  • Being a woman  - the Q -angle of hip to knee in women predisposes us to be quad dominant ( weaker hammies)
  • Imbalance -left leg weaker than right.
  • Almost falling foot arches.
  • Being a Desk Jockey- weakens those hip flexors -just like a flexed rubber band gets weaker. 
  • When I have a bout of knee tendonitis, doctor tells me to take rest and do only mild exercise and yoga so as not to stress the knees.Which is rather silly because if my child was weak in spelling or math and the teacher told me to avoid stressing his mind too much and allow him to study only simple things,I would laugh in his face.
    Why then, a commonsensical thing; that we must strengthen and do additional work on our weak areas has become a hearsay when it comes to our bodies is a Big Mystery to me.Maybe they do not understand the extent to which glute work can save your knees. Or maybe there is something in Jug Suraiya's theory of Backward Integration in Medicine .Which says that hospitals must ensure there is a steady supply of sick people.If everybody went around with this strengthening nonsense what would the friendly neighbourhood orthopedist do?I am eternally grateful to Mike Robertson the Doyen of Corrective Exercise and the author of Bulletproof Knees Manual for empowering me.For telling  that the power to overcome your injuries is within you,and giving biomechanical insights to accomplish the same. There are two aspects of Glute Work.Glute activation and Glute Strengthening ;and both take the load off the hurting knees. Glute Activation  Stretches -help you to find where those muscles are!  (two sets of five each with a 5 second hold ) hip flexor stretch
  • Hip Flexor Stretch
  • Piriformis Stretch
  • These are aimed at opening up the tight muscles -(two sets of 10 each)
  • Over -under Drills.(10 each leg)
  • Bird Dogs
  • Fire Hydrants.
  • Glute Strengthening  When your knees hurt you obviously CAN  NOT  do all the squat and deadlift (S&D) variations that involve the knees although they make your glutes strong.S & D work is done on days when your knees are rested,happy and in complete charge of things. However a lot of heavy glute work can be done without putting pressure on the knees.These exercises give the double bonanza of making your knees stronger while giving them a rest.I have been trying all of these and gloating over my good fortune.
    Other exercises that love my knees are: Elastic Band Walks. Pushing a heavy Tyre or stack of weight plates(or your car). Pulling a heavy Tyre or a stack of weight plate. And I will not talk again about Bear Crawls. or Spidermans .They are deceptively simple and pack a punch besides which they provide mirth and merriment to your kids and neighbours.
    Priceless Links :
  • This Nick Tumminello article is a must read for anyone who wants to get the better of a knee problem.
  • Get Your Butt In Gear. Part I  :Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey
  • Get Your Butt In Gear. Part II :Mike Robertson and Eric Cressey
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