This is a variation of the Lateral Kneeling Adductor with Reach Under exercise I posted a couple weeks back that emphasizes opening up away from the extended leg.

 
 
 
 
 
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Typically performed for 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps, or 2-3 sets of 5 breaths (i.e. reach to end range, inhale into the upper back, exhale fully and take up the slack).

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

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This is another example of an “integrated” mobility exercise that I’ll write into pre-practice or training prep work.

 
 
 
 
 
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3 quick notes:

1️⃣ Anchoring the hips back, and then rotating through the t-spine helps create hip/shoulder separation, an important motor control quality for many athletic movements.

2️⃣ Emphasizing a reach under pattern can help encourage air flow into the upper back, which opens up more rotation.

3️⃣ Rotating away from a laterally extending leg is a pattern that specifically presents in forward skating and shooting, but has some application to throwing motions and cutting (especially while protecting a ball, like you may see in football, basketball or lacrosse).

4️⃣ In general, rotating through thorax while sitting into end-range hip positions will help expose athletes using high threshold strategies (e.g. “white knuckling” a position/movement that should be loose), so these patterns can also be used as a screen to assess both motion and strategy.

Quick coaching notes:

✅ Reach one foot out to the side to feel a stretch through that adductor. Hold this position, then push hips straight back.

✅ Keeping your torso centered over your hips (e.g. don’t lean), rotate through the chest to reach one hand under as far as you can without holding your breath. Pause, and then return to the start.

Typically performed for 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps, or 2-3 sets of 5 breaths (i.e. reach to end range, inhale into the upper back, exhale fully and take up the slack).

Feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on in- and off-season program design, training and reconditioning for injured players, and integrating sports science into a comprehensive training process, check out Optimizing Adaptation & Performance

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!

 

If general warm-up and mobility work doesn’t open up sufficient range of motion, it’s possible the athlete needs to “create” motion by adding length to the tissue.

A key stimulus for adding sarcomeres in series (i.e. length to a muscle) is to hold a stretched position for 2+ minutes.

The “Box Quad PNF” allows players to add length to the quadricep group, including the rectus femoris which also acts as a hip flexor.

 
 
 
 
 
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To perform the exercise:

✅ Lean forward to fully extend the hip, and then push back until there’s a big quad stretch in the back leg.

✅ Hold the stretch for 10s, then push the foot into the box, building up to max tension for 10s.

✅ Push back into a deeper stretch for 10s, and repeat this process for multiple sets of 1-2+ minutes.

Opposed to just sitting back into a stretch, alternating periods of actively pushing the foot into the box also helps:

1️⃣ Inhibit protective tension in the quad to open up more range of motion
2️⃣ Creates a sense of neural control and strength at end range

This is an important strategy in the early off-season to help restore full hip extension range of motion, but also a position that can be worked into daily routines throughout the year to help combat the loss of motion associated with repetitive hip flexion common in most team sports, and prolonged periods of sitting.

Give these a shot, and as always, feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it (or tag a friend that needs some hip mobility work) so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on how to assess movement and integrate specific strategies to improve mobility and movement quality in training, check out Optimizing Movement. Don’t have a DVD player? Send me a note through the contact page after you checkout here Optimizing Movement and I’ll get you a digital copy of the videos!

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!

 

One of the primary goals of the early off-season is to re-establish full joint range of motion and control.

A consistent (i.e. daily) focus on hip mobility work during the season can help players maintain their range of motion throughout the year; however, for players that are NOT consistently doing this work, it’s normal to lose 10-15 degrees of hip rotation during the season.

With this in mind, I asked @fittywithschmiddy to share 3 exercises to help improve hip external rotation. This is a great supplement to the 3 exercises to improve internal rotation she shared a few weeks back, so if you missed those, check out this link: 3 Exercises to Improve Internal Rotation

Notes from Emma:

1️⃣ Always Start with Controlled Articular Rotations as an assessment and warmup for joint care (see previous video).

2️⃣ 90/90 Base Position Hip External Rotation PAILS/RAILS.

Here we can either:
a. Open up capsular space
b. Improve control of current range of motion through positional isometrics

Protocol: Lean forward to find stretch on posterior side OR find a position you want to increase control. Hold a passive stretch for 2 minutes. After 2 minutes, start a PAILS effort: Drive down into floor with ankle to knee, building up to 75-100% max tension for 10s. Then transition to a RAILS effort: Attempt to lift your ankle off the ground and hold to find more external rotation and hold for 5s.

✅ Start with 2 sets of 2 cycles of PAILs/RAILs on each side.

3️⃣ 90/90 Hip External Rotation Passive Range Holds

Protocol: Use your hand to help pull your foot as high as you can (without pain) while maintaining your posture. Let go, and try to actively maintain that position. Hold here as long as you can and then slowly lower the foot down.

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6 reps/side.

4️⃣ Hip External Rotation Hovers

Protocol: Here we are adding active control to the capsular space we just worked hard to open up in the previous exercises. Similar position to the previous exercise, but now we’re using the block as a target to move the foot over. The higher the foot, the more external rotation at the hip.

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps of 5-second holds per side.

Give these a shot, and as always, feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it (or tag a friend that needs some hip mobility work) so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on how to assess movement and integrate specific strategies to improve mobility and movement quality in training, check out Optimizing Movement. Don’t have a DVD player? Send me a note through the contact page after you checkout here Optimizing Movement and I’ll get you a digital copy of the videos!

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!

Hip internal rotation has many important implications for athletic performance.

➡️ Loading through the stance phase to maximize the efficiency of push-off.
➡️ Creating power in cross-over patterns as the drive leg pushes under the body.
➡️ Improving single-leg stability by allowing the body to center over the foot/base of support.
➡️ Minimizing risk of developing and suffering symptoms of hip impingement.

In short, internal rotation is important, and will impact both performance and injury risk in sport.

I recently connected with @fittywithschmiddy, who has done an outstanding job of using the concepts taught by @drandreospina in his Functional Range Conditioning course to share exercises that help improve joint health and function by unlocking range of motion and increasing end-range strength.

In these videos, Emma shares a quick warm-up exercise and 3 exercises to improve hip IR, along with coaching cues/explanations below.

Coaching Cues/Explanations from Emma…

“We don’t always need to open up more space. Sometimes we have available ranges of motion but do not own those positions with control. Here are my favorite top 3 ways to improve hip internal rotation.

1️⃣ Always start with Controlled Articular Rotations as an assessment and warmup up for joint care. This involves taking the hip joint through the full arc of motion, while maintaining some tension through your core. This is talking with your Nervous System at the deepest level.

✅Start with 3 reps per direction preside.

2️⃣ Half Kneeling PAILS/RAILS: Here we can do 1 of 2 things:

➡️ Open up capsular space if there is limited availability
➡️ Use positional Isometrics to OWN different degrees of Internal Rotation

Protocol: Find stretch, then hold for 2 minutes. After 2-mins, use isometric efforts to push into block gradually with foot for 10-seconds, building up to max tension (Progressive Angular Isometric Loading; PAILs). Then, using the opposing muscle group, pull yourself into further Internal Rotation (Regressive Angular Isometric Loading; RAILS) by rotating over the down leg for 5s.

✅ Start with 2 sets of 2 cycles of PAILs/RAILs on each side.

3️⃣ 90/90 Passive Range Holds: This is where we identify and fill in the gaps between active and passive range of motion. We use the band to pull ourselves into a passive ROM, try to hold and actively fail (eccentrically loading this tissue).

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6 reps/side.

4️⃣ Hovers: This is all active effort. Squeezing out and using as much workspace we may have created

✅ Start with 1-2 sets of 6-8 reps of 5-second holds per side.

Always finish up with your CARs to upload all the new info to your nervous system!”

Give these a shot, and as always, feel free to post any comments/questions below. If you found this helpful, please share/re-post it so others can benefit.

To your success,

Kevin Neeld
SpeedTrainingforHockey.com
HockeyTransformation.com
OptimizingAdaptation.com

P.S. For more information on how to assess movement and integrate specific strategies to improve mobility and movement quality in training, check out Optimizing Movement. Don’t have a DVD player? Send me a note through the contact page after you checkout here Optimizing Movement and I’ll get you a digital copy of the videos!

Enter your first name and email below to sign up for my FREE Sports Performance and Hockey Training Newsletter!