A thread on how to improve hip internal rotation

If you want to:
- Be agile
- Be fast
- Get through the sticking point of a squat
- Deadlift

You want to have adequate hip internal rotation (IR).

However, in my experience it is often missing to some degree in many people.
The hip musculature responsible for hip IR are primarily:

- Adductors
- Inner Hamstrings
- Anterior fibers of the Gluteus Medius
- Tensor Fasciae Latae
In human movement, IR is necessary for mid-stance when we have our bodyweight on one leg and we need to propel it to the next leg. In cutting, we obviously need hip internal rotation to drive out of it effectively in a propulsive manner.
Most of these muscles are recruited maximally at ~90 degrees of hip flexion, which is essentially when your thigh is parallel to the floor in a squat (Neumann, 2010).
So why might we see a knee valgus in a squat or cut in deep amounts of hip flexion?

Well maybe the individual doesn’t have proper IR, so that knee collapsing in is the body’s attempt to find that necessary IR.
We can lay there and do “hip IR” stretches all day, but that doesn’t take into account that skeletal position dictates muscular function.

In my opinion a better approach would be to position the skeleton in a manner advantageous for hip IR, then integrate musculature we want and
train it in that position.

One basic example of this in a ground-based activity would be a PRI Adductor Pullback. This is ideal for those who struggle to get any IR or sensory awareness of their adductor working as an internal rotator.
As for exercises, we can use a front foot elevated split squat with a “forward hip shift” (I talk you through it in the video)

The elevation will put us in more hip flexion to allow for more time spent in deeper levels of hip flexion for more internal rotation activity.
The contralateral (opposite-hand) load serves as a counterbalance to help us shift into that hip.

You can read more on on a forward hip shift here:
Hinging actions usually require concentric-force producing actions about 90 degrees of hip flexion so that makes them ideal to train IR.

Here is an example of a lateral hinge focused with the foot and toes elevated to help “sink” into IR.
Finally, a goblet squat to a 90 degree box with a ball between the knees is also ideal. This will help us concentrically activate the adductors & IR muscles.

I should note I am not squeezing it as hard as I can. I am simply holding it there. That’s all it takes.
You can add an isometric hold just off of the box for some extra juice.

Hopefully that helps you get some ideas.

The takeaway points:
- We need internal rotation to produce force
- The body likes to compensate to find what it lacks
- Skeletal position drives muscular function
And if you're interested, here is a thread that helps explain a test I use to determine if there is a lack of hip IR. This is not the only test I would use, but it gives an idea.

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More from @Conor_Harris_

9 Oct
A thread on the biomechanics of a lateral lunge - and why it’s an amazing position for those with tight glutes & piriformis.

This position is know for training the frontal plane, but it’s so much more than that.

Depending on how you do it, you can improve movement mechanics..
through an understanding of the constraints you can use with the exercise.

The lateral “lunge” is honestly a hinge, and that distinction matters when appreciating the context of when we should choose it in a program.

When we hinge, the pelvic inlet (top) comes closer together
while the pelvic outlet (bottom) spreads apart.

Notice where the posterior hip musculature (glutes & that all-so- known piriformis) attach.

When we hinge, we are essentially “spreading apart” that musculature while the pelvis goes into:

-Internal Rotation
Read 8 tweets
23 Sep
A thread on how to train the Glute Max

You often hear terms like “gluteal amnesia” or “my glutes are asleep”

Nah, your positioning and exercise selection probably sucks.

Let’s dig in on how to attack the glutes.

We first should appreciate it’s mechanics to best...
train it.

It has a significant role in:
- External Rotation at the hip and femur (leg bone)
- Hip & Trunk extension
- Hip abduction
- Posterior pelvic tilt

And yet, it is hardly active at all during standing and walking (Neumann, 2010). Interesting, huh?
In order for a muscle to be properly contracted, it needs to be stretched. That is what cues contraction of muscles in the human body.

That’s partially why it doesn’t function much in walking and standing, while it does much more in running.
Read 13 tweets
16 Sep
A thread on how to train the Serratus Anterior

Many people are generally aware that the Serratus Anterior (SA) is an important player in shoulder health, but are unsure how to train it.

It has two main functions: Shoulder protraction & assisting in elevation of the arm... Image
The SA is actually a massively important player in overhead mobility.

It needs to hold and “pull” the scapula (shoulder blade) on the ribcage, or else the scapula would be very unstable & overhead mobility is limited. Image
When it can’t do it’s job (usually other factors at play here too), the scapula will be “lost” on the ribcage and won’t have adequate congruency on it.

We see this all the time with “winged out” scapulas. Image
Read 9 tweets
13 Sep
A thread on the biomechanics of the Front Rack position and how to improve your mobility for it

The Front Rack position can be really challenging for some people because it requires maintaining around 90 degrees of shoulder flexion under load (Levangie, 2010).

To improve the.. Image
mechanics of this position, let’s understand what’s happening:

Beyond around 60 degrees of shoulder flexion, the scapular external rotator muscles need to work harder to get the arm overhead due to the progressive upward rotation of the scapula (Neumann, 2016). Image
This means that the Serratus Anterior, Upper and Lower Traps all need to work together to accomplish this.

The Rhomboids, Lats and Pecs need to let go and relax.

This is often the part that is challenging for people. Image
Read 10 tweets
3 Sep
A thread on how mechanics in the foot drives action at the hips

The body is made to interact & react with the ground.

Extension at the knee and hip is cued in the lower body when the foot arch falls/pronates & the supinator muscles are stretched (Neumann, 2010). Image
As Gary Ward says, joints act & muscles react. A stretch on a muscle will trigger it to contract.

The stretch places elastic recoil on the supinator muscles which then spring the foot back into supination upon toe-off in running and gait.

This also allows for a nice reaction Image
up the chain that causes extension at the knee and hip.

However, if the foot is excessively pronated, the supinator muscles are constantly placed on a “stretched” position. This limits them from being able to sense the stretch needed to then spring the foot into supination. Image
Read 8 tweets
28 Aug
A thread on how to train the obliques

The six pack abs get all the love, but the obliques are way more responsible for movement & function.

The obliques have roles in:
✅Pelvic control
✅Trunk rotation
✅Trunk stiffness

They can be split into the internal... Image
and external obliques.

They have similar actions, but internal obliques have a larger role in breathing & the external with trunk rotation.

So given these roles, it’s important to consider the role of the muscle fiber orientation. They mainly run horizontally. This means we Image
want to train them in the frontal & transverse planes (sideways & rotationally) to recruit them for many of their functions.

I like to pair training pelvic control + exhalation because that’s what should be naturally occurring with the resting breath anyway.

To do this, I will Image
Read 9 tweets

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