It’s Functional Friday! Today is all about the step up or step down.
During my training sessions, most people have never properly done a step up… as in recruiting the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes, hips and erectors), and instead put all their weight into their knee and quadricep (the front of the thigh). No wonder many people complain of knee pain while going up or down stairs.
Take a moment to see how you step up. Here is your body check:
1. Before you extend the leg, sit your butt back so your knee is over your ankle instead of so far in front of it.
2. As you stand, drive your weight through your heel and use your butt to extend the hip and stand strong and try and keep your hips stable and squared to the ground.
3. Don’t let the knee or foot collapse inward, so try and focus on using your glute medius to keep the leg rotated outward slightly.
4. Repeat that same motion as you go down.
5. Be aware of keeping the spine neutral and core engaged during the full ROM so you don’t allow the pelvis to tilt forward, backward or laterally.
6. When you start to add these ideas to a step up for height or added weight, you will need to hinge even more and really focusing on dragging your bottom leg up instead of pushing off that bottom foot.