As trainers and strength and conditioning coaches, we constantly get these awesome questions from clients and people in the gym saying “I have pain right Here (points to random body part), what can I do to make it better?” Now, as a trainer or strength coach this is usually a conundrum as one, we are not doctors, and two, as much we wish we were, are not Superman with x-ray vision that can see beneath clothes and tissues to view the underlying problem. Instead we have to rely on our knowledge of anatomy and human movement to give some assistance, or if need be send the client to a physical therapist who can use his/her x-ray vision to help figure out the problem.*

<span style=”line-height: 1.5;”><img class=”alignnone” src=”” alt=”” width=”312″ height=”452″ />Now the reason things get tricky for us to diagnose something by watching a movement or you pointing to a specific spot in your knee is the idea of Kinetic Chains or Kinetic Chain movements. As trainers and coaches we look at things from different angles to assess any and every possible movement problem that can happen and then back track to where the movement pattern starts, and what causes the anomaly in the movement we are viewing. Remember that old song you sang as a kid? ” the ankle bone connects to the shin bone, the shin bone connects to the knee bone, yada yada yada”. Yeah, the one you used to probably drive you parents or teachers insane with (not quite as bad as the song from Lamb Chop’s Play along).</span>

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……..That show still gives me nightmares……

Anyways, back on topic. If we think about the body like we do in the song, everything is connected! So if one aspect of the body is wrong, strained, dislocated, out of place, etc., then another part of the body is most likely going to have some issues associated with it as well. Now I didn’t realize this as a younger athlete, and in fact the first time I realized it was back in college. Growing up I was a pretty good martial artist, and competed in Taekwondo at a pretty high level. I knew at the time that the amount of kicking and would start to take a toll on my hips and stability of the joint, but I didn’t expect it to flare up the way that it did. Oddly enough, I didn’t end up with pain showing in my hips at all. Instead the pain showed in my knee, particularly the patella tendon holding the knee cap in place. Why you might ask? Well, my femur had slipped a bit out of the socket of the hip, causing the leg to actually be a bit longer than it normally should. Therefore, the length of the tendon needed to hold my knee cap in the proper place needed to be longer, and tendons don’t stretch too well. Thus in return, my knee hurt so bad that I could barely sit with my knee bent. One little trip to the chiropractor and the pain subsided, and with a decent amount of strengthening for my glutes and legs, the hip issue was solved.

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Now thats a long drawn out story to get to a very basic point that everyone can buy into. Your body is only as strong as the weakest link, and this can be applied to any movement we look at. Everything is tied together in one way or another, so looking at a more holistic approach to training (in the long run) is the best bet for injury prevention and rehabilitation, especially in athletes or those individuals that have demanding jobs or put quite a bit of stress on the body. But let’s not just stop there, while training the entire body is great and important, we have to remember that practice and work is only as important as the technique used for said movement. If the technique is wrong we are just opening Pandora’s box full of issues that can flare up and injuries that can happen. So if something feels funky or wrong, ask a professional! We’ll watch and ask questions and do our best to help you with whatever the problem is, and if we can’t give you a proper answer, we’ll refer you to someone who can.


<h6>1* All PT’s have x-ray vision, its a special secret class they have to pass in college.</h6>