The Impact Of A Hip Stretch On The Knee Joint

The Impact of a Hip Stretch on the Knee Joint

Are Your Knees at Risk?

hip opener

THE IMPACT OF A HIP STRETCH ON THE KNEE JOINT

The knee joint can be quite vulnerable: Of the lower extremity joints, the knee sustains the highest percentage of injuries, particularly among physically active individuals.” 

Journal of Orthapaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Published Online: February 1, 2010. Volume 40 Issue 2. Pages 42-51 

In the full class from today’s clip, Matt begins with some great education about how hip stretches affect the knee joint. He explains that whenever we are stretching the hip, it not only places pressure on the hip itself but also on the knee. This of course can put your knees at risk of injury. The good news is that there are ways to help circumvent the potential for serious injury. In the clip, Matt teaches you how to approach hip external and internal rotation in 5 yoga postures with more integrity for the knee joint in order to keep it safe.

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December 2023 Immersion

  • Technique-infused yoga classes
  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
  • Improve low back health
  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
  • Improve posture on and off the mat
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HOW TO PROTECT THE KNEE JOINT

The previously cited article goes on to clarify that when hip muscles are weak, there is a direct link to knee injury. This aligns with Matt’s emphasis on the isometric contraction of the muscles that support the hips, knees, and ankles when executing various yoga postures. He carefully cues specific joint actions for more optimal positioning during activation to reduce the stress on and stretch of the ligaments around the knee joint. Because the knee is mainly supported by ligaments, they need to be strong to maintain stability. Now, positioning depends on what’s required for your body at a given time: “Abnormal motion of the femur can have a direct effect on tibiofemoral joint kinematics and strain the soft tissue restraints that bind the tibia to the distal end of the femur.”                                                  

Journal of Orthapaedic & Sports Physical Therapy. Published Online: February 1, 2010. Volume 40 Issue 2. Pages 42 – 51  

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THE IMPACT OF A HIP STRETCH ON THE KNEE JOINT: ARE YOUR KNEES AT RISK?

WARRIOR II

In the video, you begin to see this potential for the abnormal motion or positioning of the femur in Warrior II. First, the positioning of your pelvis influences the amount of internal rotation of the femur. Matt cues a movement of the heel that will aid in further external rotation of the hip, but he suggests that you also consider directing your focus to the shin so that you’ll be able to witness the knee rotating back: Pressing your outer heel down while dragging it back will activate the biceps femoris muscle (hamstring muscle) to access the rotation of the shin. Now, if you discern that this creates more torque on the knee joint, you can back off on the amount of external rotation of the hip (femur) by placing more force on the inner or center heel when pressing down and pulling back.

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GODDESS POSE AND MALASANA

In Goddess Pose, you can really see the impact that the positioning of the femur and shin bones can have on the knee joint. There is a common tendency to internally rotate your shins when the knees are moving more outward, which may cause pain in the inner knees. You can avoid this by turning your feet more outward. Then, to create the isometric contraction and more external rotation of the shins, pull your outer heels towards one another—imagine each fibula (the outer shin bone) pulling in towards the midline of your body. And with a little extra anterior tilt, your pelvis stays back.  

You’ll notice the parallels in Malasana, Squat Pose. Keeping the knee joint safe requires the same awareness of the amount of external rotation versus internal rotation of the hip, along with the activation of the adductor muscles through a facilitated stretch.

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STANDING FIGURE 4 AND HALF LOTUS ON YOUR BACK

Standing Figure 4 Pose can place a tremendous amount of pressure on the knee joint of the top leg. Due to the way that the ankle presses up, the pressure is usually located on the inside of the knee. This causes the shin to almost push into and tweak the knee. Matt suggests rotating the shin down towards the ground while externally rotating at the hip joint. These two actions will help increase the space in the knee joint while creating less strain in the outer knee ligaments.

Hip external rotation along with knee flexion will support your ability to find Half Lotus on your back. As regards activation here, you can pull either the outer shin or the inner shin back. Generally, attempting to pull the outer shin back first is better for knee joint protection.

AVOID A FIXED MINDSET

It’s important to note that Matt’s Chromatic Yoga approach teaches you not to get fixed on specific positioning or alignment. Explore, so that you may discover what serves your body best in a given moment. In terms of the postures we’ve examined today, it may serve you to create more external rather than internal rotation. Wherever Matt cues more external rotation, you can explore the opposite, which may work better to decrease the pressure in the knee joint. Getting caught up in the idea that there is “only one way” may do more harm than good. For example in Malasana, more medial rotation of the shin bones has the potential to create more pain in the inner knees or to mitigate knee pain.

Register for the Blissful Hips Immersion to learn more about a practice that serves your body.


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Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

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ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

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Pelvic Movement & The Hip Joint

Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

Understand the Influence in Your Practice and Your Body

hip mobility

Pelvic Movement and the Hip Joint

The hips are a combination of challenge, ease, freedom, restriction, strength, and weakness. You could very well be experiencing all of these things simultaneously! The hip joint is quite complex—it’s a ball and socket joint that allows you to move in elaborate ways, in your yoga practice and your life off of the mat. This, however, can also make it vulnerable to injury. Understanding your hips and how other areas of your body affect how you move is imperative if your goal is to access your fullest potential in terms of your asana practice and/or movement as a whole. An entry point to such understanding can simply be how you articulate a specific part of your body. In today’s video, Matt highlights the positive impact certain pelvic articulations can have on what you experience in regard to hip mobility.

chromatic yoga 15 hour immersion

BLISSFUL HIPS

December 2023 Immersion

  • Technique-infused yoga classes
  • Nondogmatic and effective alignment
  • Improve low back health
  • Increase hamstring and hip flexor mobility
  • Improve flexibility of inner thighs and outer hips
  • Improve posture on and off the mat
  • 12 classes included
  • Livestream optional; all classes available on demand after livestream’s complete

Registration now open!

THE BENEFITS OF PELVIC ANTERIOR TILT IN DOWNWARD DOG

Downward Dog can easily become a posture that just feels like you don’t have to think about how to do it. After all, how many times have you done this posture? Probably too many to count, right?

Matt offers a new lens through which to consider Downward Dog. It’s no secret that part of the benefit of doing this posture is that you’ll get a stretch in your hamstrings. Increased flexibility in your hamstrings can allow for more freedom of movement of the pelvis around the hip joint. However, it is common for your glutes to take charge as soon as you lift your knees off of the ground to lift your hips up, which may create a more posterior tilt of the pelvis. Maintaining an anterior tilt of your pelvis helps strengthen your lower back and offers a hamstring stretch with more integrity for your body.  

WATCH THE VIDEO

PELVIC MOVEMENT AND THE HIP JOINT: UNDERSTAND THE INFLUENCE IN YOUR PRACTICE AND YOUR BODY

CONTROVERSIAL TRANSITIONS ON THE MAT

There are strong opinions when it comes to transitioning from Warrior III to Half Moon. Some will say you should NEVER do it, and others say it’s fine. The argument is that you’re bearing weight on the femur bone of the standing leg and that it destroys the hip joint. Matt points out that in fact, we do this action often. For example, in the transition from High Lunge to Warrior II, you’ll see him demonstrate the movement of the pelvis around the femur bone. Yes, there is slightly more weight in the Warrior III transition, but it is a natural movement. What you’ll know better than anyone who has an opinion is how the movement feels in your body. Matt explains that if there is pain, it can often be attributed to a lack of strength in the muscles that surround the hip. In the video, he shows you where to place your awareness to begin to minimize the pain.

200 Hour Online Teacher Training Certification

200 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET CERTIFIED & DEEPEN YOUR YOGA PRACTICE

  • Deepen your yoga practice
  • Build confidence speaking in front of groups in person and online
  • Learn foundational class structures and templates
  • Learn techniques for a wide range of yoga postures
  • Get certified and highly qualified to teach yoga
  • Yoga Alliance Globally Recognized Certification Program
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

HOW THE PELVIS INFORMS A STRETCH

The last posture in today’s video, a Pyramid variation, offers insight into how the direction of your pelvis can inform and transform your experience in a stretch. Instead of just squaring the hips, Matt cues a rotation of the pelvis (with left leg back) in which you turn the left side of your pelvis down towards the ground and towards your right thigh bone. The benefit here is a deeper stretch of the right outer buttocks and hips. Why is this action important? Deepening the stretch of these muscles, which may not be easy to find in your yoga practice, will contribute to the overall health of the hip joint. Achieving increased hip mobility involves increased flexibility. Keep in mind, however, that there are other parts of the equation. Overall hip health and mobility also require strength and body awareness.

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300 HOUR ONLINE TEACHER TRAINING

GET 500 HOUR CERTIFIED AS A MASTER TEACHER

Master your skill set as a teacher through refined techniques, anatomy, biomechanics, sequencing, philosophy, meditation techniques, theming, yoga business, and much more!

  • Get 500 hour certified
  • Learn anatomy, biomechanics, asana techniques
  • Expand your teaching skills
  • Masterful sequencing and verbal delivery
  • Learn meditation and breathwork techniques
  • Transformative tools: theming, dharma talks, satsang
  • SPRING ENROLLMENT OPEN! Training begins June 1

HOW TO ACHIEVE OVERALL HIP HEALTH

In the full class, Matt explains that mobility implies that we have strength in a greater range of motion, no matter how elongated a muscle is. There are plenty of opportunities to stretch muscles in an asana practice, but activating them in the practice to build strength will also increase their flexibility over time. It is important to remember this when you are exploring the actions of the pelvis around the hip joint in order to create more flexibility and length in the muscles that surround and support the hip. Exploring these articulations of the pelvis promotes and improves your sense of proprioception and body awareness, helping you unlock your potential. Try these actions in your practice and watch it unfold!  

Delve into the possibilities of this complex area of your body in Matt’s current immersion, Blissful Hips.

See you on the mat!

The 200 Hr. Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

The 300 Hr. Advanced Teacher Training: Click Here to See the Next Start Date

Article by Trish Curling

Videos Extracted From: Blissful Hips Immersion

lotus pose online yoga classes

ONLINE ANATOMY COURSE

  • Accessible, exciting, and easy to learn
  • Anatomy and biomechanics for yoga
  • Appropriate for both teachers and students
  • Learn joint alignment vs pose alignment
  • Demystify yoga poses and transitions
  • Release aches and pains
  • Learn how to avoid common injuries
  • Caters to all levels with modifications and props
  • 20 hours Continued Education Credits with Yoga Alliance
  • 20 hours toward Chromatic Yoga Certification and 300 Hour
  • Lifetime access

Continue Learning

Steps To Scorpion Pose

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Steps to Scorpion PosevrschikasanaSCORPION POSE Exhilarating, stimulating, and enlivening are a few words we can use to describe Scorpion Pose. We can also use words such as grounding or even relaxing, which might initially be considered strange descriptors. When we...

read more
Heart Opening Education

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Heart-Opening EducationbackbendHEART-OPENING EDUCATION There is a great deal to learn with regard to heart-opening postures. Of course, negotiating the execution and being aware of the anatomy involved in various heart-opening poses are some of the initial...

read more
Pranayama

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PranayamabreathworkPRANAYAMA Pranayama helps us to more deeply connect to the energy that runs through us. This can be done via a variety of breathwork practices. It’s important to understand that the breath is the physical layer through which we can access prana...

read more
Hip Opening Without Knee Pain

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read more
Strengthen Your Ankles

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Strengthen Your Anklesfoot healthSTRENGTHEN YOUR ANKLES Our feet are the foundation of our bodies. Placing great emphasis on creating ankle stability and mobility during our asana practice should be obvious; unfortunately, this is not always the case. Maintaining a...

read more
Yoga Props & Your Practice

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Yoga Props and Your PracticealignmentYOGA PROPS AND YOUR PRACTICE When it comes to incorporating yoga props into our yoga practice, we can take 1 of 2 paths. We either subscribe to the notion that if we use props, we are somehow “less capable” than others in the...

read more

THE FREE TECHNIQUE PACK

When You Subscribe, You Will Get Instant Access to

  • the Technique Pack: 15 yoga pose breakdowns
  • exclusive online course discounts
  • exclusive blogs and videos
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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