Limited mobility or hip disassociation will produce movementdysfunction with the in-line lunge. Acommon corrective exercise prescribed to improve mobility is the leg lockbridge.
Begin in supine flexing one leg up to thechest. Hold the flexed leg against thechest while keeping the extended (down) leg in line with the center of the bodyand the knee flexed. A small ball,pillow or towel roll may be placed between the thigh and chest for tactilefeedback regarding the lock position.
Next, push down through the extended leg on the floor toelevate the hips off the ground into a bridge. The height of the bridge should be limited to the point where contactcan be maintained between the thigh of the flexed hip and the chest keeping theextended hip/thigh in the in-line position.Perform 2-3 sets of 10-15 repetitions.
The ability to stride in a lunge position without forwardtrunk lean during the in-line lunge can be inhibited by tight hip flexors. Soft tissue work and stretching is certainlyhelpful, but this active mobility exercise will improve reciprocal movement andfacilitate hip disassociation. It is agreat exercise to include as part of your corrective exercise series and/ormovement and pillar prep work with your clients.
If clients struggle or experience hamstring cramping,consider adding a small step beneath the foot of the extended leg to increasethe hip flexion starting position.Modifications and adjustments to sets, repetitions and distance betweenthe flexed thigh and chest as well as the extended foot and ground should beconsidered with exercise prescription.
Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for Athletes' Performance at Raleigh Orthopaedic in Raleigh, NC. Brian conducts live continuing education webinars and presents nationally at professional conferences and seminars on injury prevention, rehab and sport-specific training. For more information on his products and services, visit www.BrianSchiff.com.