All effective prehab and rehab programs for recreational and competitive athletes should build in single leg stability exercises. I like to use sliding exercises as one way to improve neuromuscular control of the core, hip and knee. Frontal plane collapse is a common issue with respect to knee dysfunction. Today’s exercise will demonstrate an effective way using sliders/gliding discs as well as theraband to improve strength and kinetic chain control.
Position a theraband around a solid stationary object. Step into the band with the right leg so that the band is just above the right knee. Stand with the left foot together on a slider. Clasp the hands together or fold one on top of another while keeping the arms in and close to the body. Slowly slide the left foot backward moving into a split squat position while maintaining proper knee alignment of the right leg (knee pointing in line with the second toe).

Pause at the bottom and then return to the starting position. Perform 1-2 sets of 10 reps on each side. Focus on keeping the trunk still throughout the movement to keep the emphasis on the stance leg.

Slide the left foot out away from the body (medial reach) so that you are now in a lateral lunge position. Finally, slide the left foot in a 45 degree pattern (posteromedial reach). Increasing the resistance or stepping further away from the anchor point will also add difficulty in terms of the stance leg being pulled into more valgus/internal rotation.

This exercise is effective in injury prevention and rehab programs for those with ankle instability, anterior knee pain, hip weakness, poor landing mechanics and higher ACL risk if playing pivoting and cutting sports. It will improve core stability, hip and knee strength/stability, dynamic balance, groin flexibility and trunk control.

The band serves to enhance activation of the hip external rotators and further challenge stability of the hip and knee. The band should not pull too forcefully, but just enough to cue the desired muscle activation pattern. A slower cadence on the eccentric portion of the exercise is preferable to maximize stability and strength gains. Do not force through any painful ranges of motion, and remember that form and alignment are paramount so limit the reaching based on the client’s ability to maintain adequate control.. 

Brian Schiff, PT, OCS, CSCS, is a licensed physical therapist, respected author and fitness professional. Currently, he serves as the supervisor for EXOS API at Raleigh Orthopaedic. 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,