Last month I spoke about how our daily fixed positions of standing, sitting, using computers and electronic devices, to name a few, can reek havoc on our thoracic spine and shoulders. All of which have shown to lead to decreased levels of performance and increased risk of injury. Now, what I didn’t get into was how those same positions can also reek havoc on the lower body – feet, knees, and hips for example.
Those same positions can cause the feet to evert (fall inward), abduct (turn outward), have your knees cave in, create excessive internal rotation of the shins and femurs, creating an anterior pelvic tilt, low back discomfort, pain, and even injury. Muscular wise, consider this: feet falling inward – “weak” anterior tibialis; shins and femurs internally rotating, hips falling forward – more than likely “tight” TFL’s, among others, and of course “weak” glutes.
So the question becomes, what can we do? For starters, PLEASE don’t assume, do your screening and assessments then, and only then, if your assessments see the need for this movement, use it. Otherwise simply use it as an exercise in your regular programming.
The Single Leg Reach Forward Assissted Squat (shout out to Jason Persaud)
This is a great movement that can be used in your workout routine, as an activation, and/or corrective exercise. Benefits include: single leg balance strength, intramuscular and intermuscular coordination – it won’t take much to see how this integrates from your big toe right up to your TFL and glutes, nervous system activation, and if fascia is your talk, think about the spiral, lateral, and deep front lines. Visualize anterior tibialis, right up the IT band and then into the TFL and Gluteus Medius.
- Begin by setting your body up with your heel raised on a proper platform and make sure the same side leg is also where you are supporting your hand for stability
- Begin your downward phase of the squat and be sure to maintain knee tracking over the second metatarsal
- Look forward and maintain a long spine
- Focus on reaching forward with the opposite leg, letting the hips and knees flex and come along for the ride
- Maintain a slow and controlled tempo – feel and make the connection.
Repetition Range: six to 12 repetitions per side, depending on your goal outcome.
ALWAYS regress and progress as required. Not sure how? Get me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.