Been wanting to share detailed insights about my work - so here it is! I’ve coached for 15 years and have dealt with athletes of different levels. Most of the time, they face the same problems: they are unable to bring their legs up when they run and in the end run with excessive butt kicks. Muscle weakness is one of the factors and I was once a victim of doing “general” strengthening just to help athletes to have stronger hip flexion. I came across several strength and conditioning journals and articles and made me realise I’ve to go back to the basics. Knowing the anatomy well will help you choose the right exercises to work on specific muscles. I've gathered and summarized some important information about our hips and hope we can all learn and understand better.
I did a quick video to explain on the anatomy of our hip flexors and tests that you can do to find out if you have a weak psoas muscle. But I thought maybe the video might be too quick, i'll like to explain more over here. The muscles involved in lifting your knee towards your chest are shown in the picture above. There are 5 muscles involved and 2 of them worked as a group, namely the Iliacus and the Psoas muscles, which is called the Iliopsoas. This muscle is responsible for bringing your knee higher than 90deg, because of its origin. It is originated from your lumbar spine and therefore has the ability to bring your knee high up.
Both the Psoas and the Iliacus muscles are attached to the femur (Thigh bone) as you can see it in the picture on the left.
The hip is a very complicated area. There are many major muscles involved and also alot of supporting muscles just to flex and extend your hip. Therefore, sometimes you have to eliminate all other possibilities to find out what is or are your weaknesses. We see athletes who are able to execute high knee drills, but when comes to sprinting, they just can't seem to bring their knees up high enough.
So pls enjoy this 1min video to check out some tests that you can do.
The ability to lift your knees up during your sprints is just 1 factor to aid in your sprinting performance. The real deal is when you are able to lift your knees up and hammer it down super fast. Ultimately it is the force produced towards the ground that is gaining you the distance. I'm sure many of you, coaches or athletes, have been trying all sorts of training workouts, interesting ideas on how to strengthen your hip. Keep whatever you have, and you might want to add these exercises on, in addition to your usual routine. This is part 1 of what I've found and gathered. I'll be posting about how you can warm up your hips and some strengthening exercises ideas.
Let me know if this info is helpful for you. You can also express your thoughts and contribute your ideas by putting them down in the comments.