TIGHT HIPS AND KNEE INJURIES
It makes sense to believe that if your hips are tight and never stretched that you are increasing the likelihood of injuring your knee on the field of play. Running jumping pivots and acrobatic endzone catches or goal shots put a lot of pressure and abuse to the hips. Let’s stop and think for a moment…if your are hit on the football field, for example, and tossed, the energy of the movement of your body and the body hitting you has to be absorbed somewhere. If your hips are tight and do not give to this energy at all, they do not have any movement or suppleness then the energy will go to the point of least resistance, which is the very vulnerable and complex knee joint. A flexible hip will not always avoid a devastating knee injury but will help A LOT! I have witnessed an elite high school wrestler in a compromising position being twisted and torque against his will until, yup…POP, his knee ripped in every way possible before my eyes.
So let’s talk about keeping the hips open and a safe for long life for the knee.
The yoga poses I will recommend will:
· open the hip in external rotation, also involving the glutes
· work internal rotations to help avoid medial (MCL) strain
· stretch the groin inner thigh
· address the hamstrings
· elongate the quadriceps
· deepen the elasticity of the hip flexors
Tight thigh, hip and calf muscles are possible causes of overuse knee injuries. We want to open the hips and release an essentially locked in pelvis to relive the knee. Aside from protecting the knee having an open hip with simply free up your stride and improve your form for more efficient movement on the field court or mat. Also, let’s remember the formula for power yoga for sports…strength + flexibility = power…so strengthen these muscles of the hips too. Finally remember a mantra I always remind my players that sports create imbalances in the body because they are one side dominant, so it is your job as the athlete to tune in and realize your imbalances everyday!
Yoga Pose for Hip Flexibility
o reclining hand to toe/ with ITband stretch
o standing forward bend against the wall
o bow pose with addition heel to hip hold
o squat holds
o cobblers pose
o double pigeon
o standing forward bend