My rehab of the knee has been very successful. I have been hitting the weight room 4 days per week, and my key lifts are big, heavy, posterior-chain focused exercises such as deadlifts, squats, bulgarian split squats, romanian deadlifts. As an aside, it appears those eastern europeans (bulgarians, romanians) really knew how to lift some heavy shit.

Anyway, the lifting has focused on one thing: my ass. I know the reason the muscles around my knee were getting sore is because they were getting overworked. They were getting overworked because my quads were doing more work than they are supposed to. My quads were doing more work than they were supposed to because my ass was not doing enough work. A lazy ass makes for tired quads, and tired quads make for sore knee muscles.

When I hit the gym, I do about 30 minutes of ass stretching and activation. Then, I do about 30 minutes of weights. Here is the strengthening and stretching program, courtesy of Mike Robertson and his Bulletproof Knees program.

1. Psoas Stretch - 3x30 seconds
2. Glute Bridge - 3x10 reps
3. Piriformis Stretch - 3x30 seconds
4. Mini Band Clams - 3x10 reps
5. Adductor Stretch - 3x30 seconds
6. Mini Band Lateral Walk - 3x10 steps with each leg

Exercises are shown below. I apolologize for the wussiness of the models in these following six pictures. This is the best google images had to offer:

1. Psoas Stretch
2. Glute Bridge

3. Piriformis Stretch

4. Clams - I wrap a mini band around my knees on this to increase the ass power.

5. Adductor Stretch
6. Mini Band Lateral Walk - I've shown the x-band lateral walk because 1) it's a better exercise but I don't own one and 2) I couldn't find a picture of the mini band version.

Finally, there's a few cool exercises you may have never seen before that I have been using in my ass-based training program. Here's one:

Cable Pull Through - this one is courtesy of the BEASTS at West Side Barbell Club. It's a powerlifting exercises invented by Dave Tate. Done correctly (note: make sure it's done correctly), it'll dominate your hamstrings, glutes, and lower back.

To Do: Begin by facing away from a low pulley cable with a single "D" handle or triceps rope. Bend over and grab the handle between your legs while facing away from the machine, then pull the handle through your legs until your body is in an upright position.

Here's another exercise I like:

Valslide lateral lunge - In the picture, the models left leg stays put, while the right leg slides outwards. Keep the weight over the right leg. This one hits all the classic squatting muscles in a single-limb fashion, while emphasizing the adductors.

These exercises have worked for me because they are part of a well designed, goal oriented training program. The key, heavy, posterior chain exercises follow a through warmup, mobility work, specific activation exercises, and they are aimed at my specific muscular imbalances. They are followed by foam rolling and an intensive stretching program. I say this, because if you go into the gym and try to singularly throw down a heavy set of deadlifts without the accompanying program, you'll end up with incorrect form, poor muscle recruitment, increased injury risk, etc.

Check out this guy in the video for a demonstration of what happens when you DO NOT know how to lift. His deadlift almost kills him. Then, to make sure he injures himself, he follows it up with a few other terrible exercises.


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