Thursday, April 6, 2017

3 Reasons to do Single Leg Work

Picture this!

You are standing in line at the bank,  it's a busy day so you are there a for a while.  Initially, you have relatively good posture.  After some time you take out your phone start playing with it and before you know it you find yourself shifting all of your weight onto one leg, the back is rounded down looking at your phone and that nagging ache in your lower back starts saying "Hi! remember me?".

Chances are you favor that same leg most of the time.  This is natural, we tend to have one limb stronger than the other, after all we are asymmetrical beings.

The issue is not of one leg being stronger than the other as much as it is an issue of loading avoidance of the weaker limb.

When this is the case there should be a graded exposure approach to regaining stability, strength, functionality and more importantly confidence in a single limb stance position.

Which takes us into the 1st reason:

Movement Variability

Exploring movement breeds confidence!

Many times the reason why we feel a sense of doubt before setting out on a new adventure is due to the element of the unknown.  We have not experienced it before, hence we are uncertain of the outcome.  The same concept applies to the body.  If we don't put ourselves in these positions our body does not recognize them and consequently we lack control.

Exploring movement in a graded manner sets up a platform where you progress through variations of a movement with each variation setting the foundation for the next one.

This is crucial when our perception of a specific movement is "threatening".  By regressing it to a less threatening movement we increase our time in that position boosting our confidence and setting a solid foundation from where to build upon.

Example: If Single Leg Deadlifts (SLDL) are iffy try single leg weight passes become comfortable on one leg and then progress to the SLDL

When becoming familiar with a new movement initial focus should be on control.

 It's a core workout! Control vs. Load 

While you stand on one leg your body is fighting the urge to side bend and collapse.

How does it do this?  Core engagement!

Yes, step ups are a core exercise...when performed properly.  Focus should be on an upright posture resisting the pull towards the unstable side. This added core engagement promotes proper posture and grooves a more efficient action.

The body should feel comfortable in these single leg positions.  This way, if it ever finds itself in an unstable situation it is more likely to recognize and react accordingly.

Even for advanced lifters becoming efficient at controlling a movement should come before implementing load.  This emphasis on proper form enhances the efficiency of movements, which takes us into the next benefit.

Avoiding Energy Leaks

This added focus on core engagement might demand more energy in the initial stages of training but,  by developing sound movement energy leaks are avoided when they really count.

Owning a single leg stance wether it be through a weight pass or marching drills translates well into sport performance. The key here is to load properly without compromising structural integrity of the movement.

Think about it...

Running is a continuous controlled fall where you are always on one leg.  For this reason by increasing the time spent on each leg individually will be beneficial towards performance.

In Health,

Angel Lopez CSCS

No comments:

Post a Comment