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Training Open Kinetic Chain control of the hips and pelvis for kicking

October 10, 2013

Open kinetic chain control of the hips/pelvis is often ignored in training programs (sometimes with good reason), however the ability to neural drive shortened hip musculature is an ability that can and should be improved upon for athletes where OCK pelvic control is needed (martial artists, dancers, climbers, etc).

In these individuals, the ability to control the leg translates into better balance…which allows power generation to increase off of a stable base.

For certified Functional Range Conditioning Mobility Specialists (FRCms):

* Capsular blocks of internal hip rotation will prevent the mma athlete from turning over their hip during kicking. This is VERY common now-a-days as it is fashionable to replace OKC work with solely CKC work (e.g. squats). The result of ignoring internal hip rotation is swinging the leg from inferior to superior…often into the opponents elbow (which is not good. This incorrect motor pattern is emphasized with repetitive pad work where the pad holder holds the face of the pads inferiorly (thus promoting ‘upward’ kicking…which does not allow the athlete to practice turning the hip over during follow through)

– train PAILs/RAILs90/90 & Hip Sleeper
– progress to PAILs/RAILs of the Cossacks squat

** With these movements the plant leg needs to be trained to control the adductor group in a lengthened position

– train Plant leg – PAILs/PALs work

** Kick leg – needs short OCK control of the glut’s

– train Passive Range Holds/Lift offs & End-Range Rotational work

** for dynamic movement patterning

FRC mobility flow practice incorporating the Cossacks roll

** Plant foot NEEDS intrinsic foot strength/control as a prerequisite

CARs – toe control

A common misconception in the zeitgeist is the assumption that the ability to do the splits will translate into the ability to kick high. In other words, that flexibility gains will translate into mobility application. This is a INCORRECT assumption as is demonstrated by the number of ‘flexible’ athletes who loose balance when kicking high.

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