Poor dynamic hip stability and lower extremity asymmetry is a common issue among clients I see. I often find asymmetry when doing the Y-Balance Test. Poor hip control and quadriceps weakness may contributes to anterior knee pain or altered movement patterns that may contribute to overuse injuries or more serious knee injuries with pivoting/cutting/jumping sports. This reaching progression will help address asymmetry and weakness using a sliding disc and a kettlebell.

    Execution: Position the right foot on a sliding disc, while standing in an upright position. Grasp a kettlebell in the right hand. Next squat down on the left leg while simultaneously sliding the right leg away from midline (medial reach). Slide as far as the leg will allow provided there is no frontal place collapse or loss of balance. Pause, and then return to the start position. Perform 10 repetitions and then switch sides.

    Always focus on maintaining proper posture and not allowing the knee to cave in (dynamic valgus).

    Progression:

    1. Posteromedial reach

    2. Posterolateral reach

    3. Increase external resistance and/or increase cadence

    Regression:

    If clients have difficulty, consider using no external resistance and limiting the range of motion while providing verbal and tactile cues to maintain proper alignment. Using a mirror may also be helpful in providing visual feedback to the client to master form. Allowing the client to place the arms in a forward position at shoulder height may provide a counterbalance allowing for greater reaching capacity if needed.

    Application: This exercise will facilitate single leg strengthening, improve dynamic hip stability and address any reaching asymmetry. The sliding disc allows for better control and offers less risk for loss of balance compared to a free standing reach. The kettlebell is easy to hold and allow for predictable external load to enhance strength. This sequence can be used and progressed/regressed in incremental fashion, while serving as an effective injury prevention tool to reduce values collapse as well.

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