UFC Fighter Jeremy Stephens preparing his body for TUF 13
If there is one thing that's a career ender for fighters and athletes, its injuries. So often I read in interviews with athletes talking about their injuries and how they have to work through them, and it makes me cringe. If the body can't function with all of its muscular units together, compensation of the wrong muscles will surely follow and more injuries will occur. My client and great friend Larry Belinsky put it best: "You're body is like a chain, and it's only going to be as strong as its weakest link!"
My method in fixing an injury is to not have an injury in the first place. Injuries lead to long drawn out periods of little to no activity, and that usually leads to no specific skill development in the process. If we take care of the structural issues in the body and apply proper range of motion before any problems occur, the likelihood of an injury will significantly diminish. This is an entirely different way to make the body adaptable in completely random environments.
In these pictures I have UFC fighter Jeremy Stephens demonstrating 3 techniques on how to properly square up the hips and allow for more dynamic mobility in the lower body and core.. For anyone out there that is dominant with one side of the body these are some major techniques you may want to try out. The issues I correct in these techniques are commonly the reason most people have low back pain, knee pain, hip pain and foot pain.
1.) Isometric Bridge- I like to use a band or a cable along with this to get the glutes firing with the abdominals. I also like to squeeze a ball between the knees to get an activation of the inner hip muscles, this leads more contraction of the bigger Glute muscles opposed to the smaller ones.
2.) Static Hip Flexor Stretch- Great for correcting and anterior pelvic tilt (swayed back). Important to remember to engage the glutes (make butt hard) when doing this stretch. This allows the muscles on the front side (hip flexors) to elongate in response to the glutes.
3.) Piriformis Stretch- Great for correcting the issues of walking like a duck (feet turned outward). Keep the front knee at the mid-point of your chest and hold for about a minute.