In a previous blog I discussed how your hips are your primary engines for all things speed and power. "Consequently this is where you’ll find most of your tissue restriction and major injuries." It may seem obvious that the main muscle groups that consistently break down would be the hip flexors and extensors. These same muscles are capable of so much more than just lifting your leg up and down, they can also rotate.
In the text books you'll see the terms "internal" and "external" rotation, meaning the hip turns in and out. This, my friends, is often overlooked and can cause pain or prevent you from having more control over you hip. You want to have balance between the these two directions. Most folks find it pretty easy to turn one way and struggle quite a bit going the other, this common imbalance can wreck havoc on your ability to establish consistent stride patterns or even worse lead to an injury due to overuse.
I see runners most frequently have over active hip external rotators which can be exacerbated by weak and/or tight internal rotators. This will do one of two things, shorten the stride or cause the hip to turn out forcing your leg to travel a longer distance, both of which keep you from unlocking your true speed. Don't let this happen to you, you have the responsibility to learn how to give your body what it needs. It starts with awareness and learning where your weaknesses are. Start building awareness today with these two drills.
Below are a couple great drills that can teach your athletes how to control their posture while testing their hip mobility. an be done at home with zero equipment.
#1 Don't let tight internal rotators limit your backside mechanics.
2 sets of 5-10 reps per side.
#2 Build awareness of you front side mechanics by improving motor control.
2 sets of 10 each direction per leg