Stephen Curry Relies on Glute Activation to Overcome Ankle Issues

A great example of how strengthening one's core through glute activation and strengthening helped one athlete overcome a history of ankle injuries.  I have posted the link to the full article below:

http://espn.go.com/nba/playoffs/2015/story/_/id/13019137/2015-nba-playoffs-how-stephen-curry-put-ankle-issues-him

At CSSC, we spend a lot of time focusing on activation of 2 important muscles for healthy function of the upper and lower extremities, respectively: Lower Trapezius and Gluteus Maximus.

I had a smile on my face as I read this article last year during the NBA Finals, when Golden State took down Cleveland.  Whether we are dealing with low back, hip, knee, or ankle conditions at CSSC, glute activation is always addressed and THE key factor in stabilizing the core to prevent recurrence of these conditions and improve function/performance.  We have a saying we like, "If you have a body, you are an athlete."  Glute activation and strength is important for everyone, whether you sit at a desk all day or perform at a high level as a professional athlete.

I've highlighted some key excerpts from the article:

"When Lyles joined the Warriors' training staff two summers ago, he asked Curry to perform a simple stationary pose you might find in a yoga book: the single-leg hip airplane." -- a lot of the exercises we give patients are, in fact, exercises you would probably find in a yoga book

"Lyle's prognosis was simple, yet perhaps a little counterintuitive.  He hoped Curry's issues could be mostly solved not by strengthening his ankles, but his hips and glutes." -- this illustrates the importance of looking at full body function, not just the area of complaint

""The remedy is balance and core strength to make those movements fluid and stable.  "I think Steph really liked to use his ankles to control everything," Lyles said. "But now he's using his hips instead.  You know how everyone laughed at Tiger Woods saying he just needed to activate his glutes?"  Well, Tiger's right."" -- I remember Tiger saying that more than once during a press conference after not playing well.  

"To leverage those skills, Curry needed to strengthen his core so he could move with conviction and power.  Don't be fooled by a lanky body with a listed weight of 190 pounds." -- stronger core=more power

"The exercise the Warriors prefer is the trapbar dead lift, which is basically a safer way to mimic lifting a giant boulder off the ground.  One of the primary muscles that it works? Yup, the gluteus maximus." -- stronger core=more power / stronger glutes=stronger core / stronger glutes=more power -- We spend a lot of time explaining to patients how glutes are part of the core.

"Curry and the Warriors don't think they can prevent a sore ankle with 100 percent certainty.  That stuff happens no matter how strong your core is.  But they've found ways to ensure Curry isn't so dependent on his ankles like he used to be.  Now, as Curry weaves through defenders, he's not counting on his ankle to provide all the stability--instead the larger muscles of his core are doing a lot of the work to hold his leg in place."

 ------- This pretty much sums it all up.  This is why these exercises we give patients are so important!  We want to improve your condition first.  Then, we want to give you the tools to prevent it.  Although we can't guarantee you won't have problems in the future, we can greatly reduce the chances of recurrence (which decreases the amount of time and money you spend at the doctor's office) while improving overall function/performance!