Functional Exercise for Runners: Rotational & Lateral Control
Last night I filmed one of our GB Age Group triathletes performing a simple yet fairly advanced exercise to develop her ability to control rotational and lateral forces acting upon the knee. I really like this exercise as it challenges the athlete in a running specific ‘functional’ stance.
This is a great example of a functional dissociation exercise, teaching the stabiliser muscles to control movement on a segmental basis. The rotation of the upper body requires the athlete to use the abdominals to control the position of the lumbro-pelvic region, as well as challenging the stabilisers of the hip to maintain knee position.
The resistance band just above the knees adds an extra challenge. The isometric contraction of the hip abductors and external rotators needed to keep the knees from being pulled together, really gets Glute.Med. working hard!
Some simple cues:
- Slight knee bend on standing leg
- Slow, controlled rotation of the upper body
- Keep knee and pelvis facing forwards
- Relax the foot (don’t claw the toes). Lengthen through your big toe and push it into the ground.
- Keep the tension on the resistance band throughout
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