Foot and ankle injuries are a common cause that forces us into orthopedic offices day in and day out. Unfortunately, for the current reigning NBA MVP Steph Curry, the case was no different. In 2011-2012 Curry missed significant portions of the season (60 of 82 games) due to reoccurring ankle sprains which at one point put his entire career in jeopardy. So how did Curry go from having a questionable future in the NBA to now being considered one of the most exciting players in NBA history? The answer is simple, Curry and his team shifted their focus to fixing the root of his issue; hip and core weakness.
It began when the Warriors brought Keke Lyles on staff, a world renowned expert in maximizing body potential and injury prevention. He was the first to realize Curry was under utilizing his core and hip muscles, and therefore, over-reliant on his ankles. Thus, creating a significant risk for injury during dynamic movement. The quick, explosive movements required in basketball put a lot of stress on the ankles. If other muscles do not help, injuries such as ankle sprains will occur.
With exercises that emphasize glute and core strengthening as well as balance, you can gain control of your body and prevent injuries. This is how Curry is able to make those amazing, seemingly impossible moves and shots. All parts of his body, his core, hips, and ankles, are supporting each other and none are over-worked. Curry continues to work on his strength and even added a few exercises to his pre-game warm- up to ensure his hips are activated and ready to go. You can often see him doing what look like diagonal step outs with a resistance band on the court before a game.
Want to test your strength and stability? This is how Curry was tested. Keke Lyles used a pose often found in yoga called the single- leg hip airplane. Stand on one leg, hinge at the hip, and get as long as possible with arms outstretched and other leg straight behind you. You should resemble an airplane. Then open your hips towards the sky. Do you sway and wobble? Steph Curry did, and this may be a sign you too are not utilizing your hips and core properly.