THE Y BALANCE EXERCISE:
A DYNAMIC SINGLE LEG BALANCE TEST
This is a simple and reliable test to compare left and right sides for ankle flexibility, core and lower limb control as well as single leg strength
It can be used as a return to sport test or as part of a single leg balance/ proprioception program.
How to do the exercise:
· Place hands on hips
· Bring one foot forward as far as possible, tap the ground without losing balance and return to the starting position
· The athlete then reaches 45 degrees in a posterolateral direction and completes the same toe tap then returns to the starting position
· They then reach 45 degrees in a posteromedical direction (bowling pose) and return to the start
· Compare the distances of left and right in each direction
· As an exercise athletes can complete 3-5 reps on one foot, then complete on the other side
Make sure each direction is symmetrical to reduce your risk of future injury and a safe return to sport!
Check out an earlier blog from Dan on the importance of ankle mobility here.
VOL. 2 - GLUTES
This a great exercise for activating the glute muscles. It can be used as part of a warm up & is particularly good for those of us with lower back pain.
Lie on your back, with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Keep your arms at your side with your palms up.
Lift your hips off the ground until your knees, hips and shoulders form a straight line. Squeeze the glutes. Make sure weight is evenly distributed between feet and is predominately in the heels of your feet.
Hold your bridged position for a couple of seconds before slowly lowering back down.
If this causes some back pain, don’t lift hips so far off the ground.
Perform 3 sets of 10-12 reps.
SPLIT GLUTEAL BRIDGE ON THE WALL:
USED AS A PROGRESSION FROM A DOUBLE LEG GLUTE BRIDGE EXERCISE.
A nice link towards single leg activity from simple double leg exercises.
- Push elevated foot into the wall (Like a leg press)
- Push bottom foot into the floor (Standard bridge movement)
- Posterior pelvic tilt to flatten the lower back
- Drive force through both feet
- Lift the hips to feel a glute squeeze
- Lower under control and relax at the bottom
- Repeat until fatigued or reduced quality
Then complete on the other side
Progression is to a single leg glute bridge exercise