Improve Knee Stability By Focusing On Your Hips
Dr. Preston Ward
At Mtn Physio it’s my job to keep people injury free and in the mountains hunting, so when I receive calls and emails from people looking to build a program to rehab their knees, I have solid data to support the importance of focusing on hip strength to improve knee stability and prevent pain and injury. I focus on a handful of top-tier hip, glute, and quad exercises to get the job done.
The “core” of your knees are your hips:
We all hear about core exercises and work. To some that may mean daily yoga poses, deadlifting 225 pounds, or planking for six minutes. These are all important and address the core of our body. Strength in the core means a strong and resilient hunter and mountain athlete.
For the sake of this article, consider your hips and glutes the “core” of your knees. Focusing on your hips mobility and strength will allow your knees to track properly whether you’re going up, down, or side-hilling rugged terrain. Also, preventing knee pain and a valgus moment injury of your knee from collapsing or falling inward.
THE BENEFITS OF A SINGLE EXERCISE FOR YOUR SUCCESS:
I often don’t talk about a single movement being the “best” but in regards to the knee, these exercises may very well be the best thing you can focus on. The area we would like to target on is the outer hip or your glutes and particularly your gluteus medius. This muscle if standing on one leg would lift the other leg out to the side. While walking, it prevents you from dropping your hips and collapsing.
HOW TO GET STARTED - EXERCISE PROGRESSION:
Anyone should be able to focus on these exercises and progress through a simple plan. Below you will find various exercises that I encourage every mountain athlete to adopt as part of a comprehensive training program. You can add these exercises to your routine at the gym, focus on them at home or even a way on the road.
You can challenge yourself with 60 seconds duration holds or perform repetitions to failure. Using a simple resistance band can and will provide enough resistance to target the necessary muscles and help prevent and rehab your knees. Focus on your glutes they are the core of your knee!
Exercise progression hip abduction/gluteus medius focus.
1. SIDE LYING HIP ABDUCTION:
2. SIDE PLANK HIP ABDUCTION:
Begin by lying on your side. With the bottom leg bent to 90 degrees and the top leg straight, the forearm in contact with the ground and square under your shoulder lift your body of the ground pivoting from your forearm and the outside of your knee on the ground. You will now be in a side plank position. Raise the top leg in the air keeping it in a straight line. Perform 3 sets of 15 or hold for 60 seconds planks.