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Category Archives: Weight Lifting

Injuries are the harsh truth to an active lifestyle. Whether you are a practicing athlete or someone that works out at home, you have probably dealt with minor aches and pains and maybe even a more serious injury. You may have even noticed that during your recovery from that injury, other parts of your body have begun to give you problems. This phenomenon doesn’t mean you injured two areas in the same occurrence. Rather, your body is compensating for the injury and putting more strain on a certain area of your body. The most prominent place this occurrence happens is with leg injuries. You may have heard the saying “your hips are hostage to your knees” and vice versa. In this article we will analyze how an injury in your knee could affect your hips and what you can do to prevent one injury turning into two.

Most of us at some point will have knee and hip pain eventually just from wear and tear. Your knee and hip joints are large joints and constantly need maintenance. They bear the full weight of your body and at the same time need to have a full range of motion. Genetics, past injuries, and normal wear and tear may all be attributed to your knee and hip pain.

To first understand the problems you are having with your knees and your hips, you need to understand some basic anatomy. The joint your hip inserts into is called a ball and socket joint and is responsible for bearing most of the weight from your body. There are also an array of ligaments and muscles around your hip needed for stability and range of motion. Hip weakness could begin to occur without proper guidance and training but could also be a result of a weakened gluteus medius. The weakening of the gluteus medius eventually leads to your thigh rotating and pulling inward. This is the start to what we call the “collapsing kinetic chain.” This position of the thigh, caused by weakness in your hips, then puts strain on the knee. Thus, lamenting the saying ““your knees are hostage to your hips.” A collapsing kinetic chain has been listed as the indirect cause to most ACL tears.

Common Knee Injuries Caused by Weak Hips

Here are common knee injuries that could be the cause of bad hips:

1)Patellofemoral stress syndrome
2)Iliotibial band friction syndrome
3)Patellar tendonitis
4)Pes anserine bursitis

Attention: If you are experiencing knee pain, you should visit your doctor or physical therapist. He or she can evaluate your condition to determine the cause of your pain.

What Can I Do to Prevent Weak Hips and Knee Injuries?

The first thing you need to do is get a full assessment
on your lower body strength, flexibility, and range of motion by a physical therapist so they can diagnose the problem and set up a treatment plan. This will also be useful information down the road if you decide to continue your strength training with a personal trainer. Second, if your physical therapist does identify you have weak hips, strengthening those hips is your next focus. This can be done with simple hip strengthening exercises, but you may also need more advanced hip strengthening exercises depending on your diagnosis. Since we now know that weak hips can lead to knee injuries by the turning of the thigh, balancing exercises could help restore the positioning of the thigh. Also, the use of a BAPS board could help strengthen your total lower extremity and position your leg in the optimal location to relieve your knee pain.

What We Have Learned

The saying “your knees are hostage to your hips” is the real deal. If you are experiencing minor knee pain or an athlete with a major knee injury, you need to get your hips evaluated to see if that is the indirect relation to the injury. If your hips are the problem, consulting a physical therapist for a plan to strengthen those hips is the next step.

If you are having trouble obtaining the right mentality after an injury or trouble strengthening those hips on your own, you may want to consider working with a personal trainer!

Come in to Iron Orr Fitness Center today to receive a FREE Complimentary Consultation. We will give you a medical grade body composition test, a 20min workout/evaluation with one of our certified personal trainers and develop a plan to help you reach your fitness goals.

Iron Orr Fitness was voted Top 5 Best Personal Trainers in La Jolla. Call (858) 255-0367


Preventing Summer from being a Bummer!


A lot of us are getting outside and playing sports, hitting the beach, or joining a pick-up basketball or pick-up softball game.

The last thing on our minds is a potential knee injury.

A knee injury can take you away from your work, school, or enjoying time with loved ones — for an extended period of time.  You can be relegated to crutches, a knee brace, or (at worst) laid up and immobile for a few weeks.


To put it plainly, you do not want a knee injury!!!




This blog will help you avoid the dreaded Weekend Warrior knee-injury-scenario by showing you some simple and quick exercises to keep your knees from being de-conditioned and unprepared for activity.


If you do the exercises in this blog, you can greatly increase the conditioning level of your knees and joints and their ability to take on the demands of your weeknight or weekend activities.






First of all, let’s address the overarching problem: SITTING! Sitting for prolonged periods of time is terrible for your body. SITTING IS BEING CALLED THE NEW SMOKING. Because of technology, most of us are sitting the majority of the day. Unfortunately, sitting for prolonged periods of time causes important muscles to shorten and tighten in the hip flexors, calves, Achilles, and quadriceps region (among other areas). When a weeknight or weekend sport demands that a specific muscle be flexible (especially after a long day of sitting) and long enough to perform a movement [and that specific muscle cannot reach the demanded range of motion], the potential for injury increases dramatically — and in many cases is almost certain.

The importance of neuromuscular training and knee stability in preventing ACL injuries has not gone unnoticed.

According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, knee injuries are among the most common injury in sports today. The Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) accounts for 150,000 knee injuries in the United States annually. Of those injuries, 70% are from non-contact sports.

According to NASM (National Academy of Sports Medicine), which most Iron Orr Fitness Trainers hold at least one certification,Weekend Warriors account for over 100,000 ACL tears a year.

What does this mean for you? If you’re reading this blog and you are participating in a sport while working full-time, you need to start doing some of these exercises ASAP!!

The following Neuromuscular Training Program should only take you 10-15min to do, and you should perform these exercises 2-3 times a week.

Neuromuscular Training refers to exercises that train your central nervous system [CNS] to activate the proper muscles to counteract force and maintain joint stability. When the body jumps up and lands, your CNS fires off messages to activate the proper muscles in order to land softly on your feet. Without neuromuscular control, you wouldn’t be able to balance, move, and maintain joint stability. Neuromuscular Training focuses on performing exercises that train the nerves and muscles to react and communicate with each other. This results in increased body awareness and trains your body on what proper technique feels like (mind-body connection).

Before you begin any exercise program, it is important to perform dynamic stretches. Dynamic stretches are stretches held for 30 seconds or less and create muscle extensibility (flexibility) while waking up and firing your CNS.

Examples of dynamic stretches are the following:

A) Leg Swings
B) Calf Stretches to Toe-Up
C) Hurdle Stretches
D) Scorpions

Now that you’re warmed up, let’s do some Neuromuscular Training to help reduce the risk of knee injuries!


One Leg Hops: Side to Side & Back to Front


Speed & Agility Ladder: Various Directions

Don’t know how? We are here to help!


1 Foot Balance Pad

Propioceptive work


Depth Jumps


When you’re done, a cool down walk of five minutes as well as static stretching of one minute each will help maintain tissue extensibility (flexibility).

Repeat this short warm-up, NMTraining, and cool down every other day for a maximum of three times a week, and you’ll be ready to play your favorite sport and not worry about injury!

If you are carrying a few extra pounds and need help getting a program started or you need to bring your muscle or power game to the next level, we are experts and designing and implementing individual pre-hab, weight loss, muscle gain and injury prevention exercise plans that will take you to your goals safely and expediently!

If you aren’t sure how to include the above workouts in your current training plan, shoot us a message. We’re always willing to help out.

And, if you’re in San Diego, come by the gym for a complimentary consultation. It is no-obligation and we can answer all your questions, help develop a SMART goal, determine your body composition with our state-of-the-art InBody medical-grade body composition machine.

Start Today!

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Reach out to Paul at Iron Orr Fitness to take your athleticism to great heights🔥

Call (858) 255-0367

If you’ve ever moved a barbell around, you’re going to benefit tremendously from this article! You know the saying, “A chain is only as strong as its weakest link.” The beauty of compound lifts like squats and bench press is that they engage a ton of muscles – a “muscle chain” if you will. But therein also lies the challenge in these moves – they require the simultaneous coordination of a ton of muscle groups. Without specific attention to this musculoskeletal chain, weak points can appear, and compound over time. But if you improve your weak links with specific targeting, you’ll strengthen your entire lift!

Today I’m going to focus on how to maximize your Squat, Bench, and Deadlift, often coined “The Big 3”. These are the meat and potatoes (or tempeh and potatoes to stay vegan friendly) to any workout program dedicated to strength or hypertrophy. When performing these movements closer to your maximum weight, there may be a sticking point during the lift that you can’t get past, for example the lockout at the top of the deadlift. Throughout the rest of this article I’ll show you exactly why you may be failing at a certain point, and how to break through your plateau and crush your next PR attempt!

To increase your lifts, build more muscle, and burn a ton of calories, here are a total of 18 accessory exercises – and how to implement them into your workout plan:

  • 1. Squat Accessories
  • 2. Bench Accessories
  • 3. Deadlift Accessories
  • 4. How to Wield the Power of These Exercises

Squat Accessories

If you have a hard time starting the ascent of your squat, or you get stuck “in the hole”, (at the very bottom of your squat) you most likely have a weakness in your glutes or hamstrings.

Exercises to Improve Your Initial Ascent out of a Squat

Pause Squat


Pin Squat


Glute Kickbacks




Exercises to Work on Locking Out Top of Squat

Front Squats


Leg Press


Forward Lunges


Bench Accessories

Best Exercises to Strengthen Your Front Deltoids and Chest

Shoulder Press


Front Shoulder Raises


Incline Bench Press