Ok, so let's talk about step ups - Squat Advent Day 13. If you want to use more backside in stepping up (you do, I know you do!) and if you want to optimize wear and tear for your joints, you need to work towards two goals. I recommend working on them one at a time.
First goal - a vertical shin in the front leg. That means your knee doesn't move forward of your ankle as you step up. When I teach this in class, 90% of people THINK their knee isn't moving forward and actually it is. Watching yourself in a mirror as you step up is really helpful in evaluating this. Another way to check is to look at your knee when you place your foot on the step. Start by making it vertical to start with - you'll be able to see most of your foot like in my Image 1. As you step up, watch your knee like a hawk so you never see less of your foot than you started with. When you finish, you'll be able to see even more of your foot, because your body will be further forward in space (Image 2). Avoid letting your knee come forward (Image 3) - if it does come forward, that tells you something about the way you move. The best tip I can give you is this: imagine that you're pulling your front knee backwards and allow this pull to be the action that lifts your body. Use your back foot to push, too, it'll help.
Second goal - avoid wonky angles between the hip and the knee. If your knee faces diagonally towards your midline instead of straight forward (Image), then you're creating a wear pattern that your joints may not love. Press your knee out and pull your hip in to come up more straight. This can be much harder than it sounds so don't worry if it doesn't come right away. Come to my free class this Saturday if you want more help with this - DM me for details.
In the video (Image 5) I'm working on my step ups on a higher chair, exploring what happens when I lean or don't lean forward, when I assist myself by using the back of the chair, and when I do and don't keep my knee vertical. Moving #alltheways is what helps you learn! This is an amazing glute and hamstring workout, guys! And it’s something you can practice on stairs, hills and everywhere else in life. #petramoves