In this post we discuss an easy test you can do in front of a mirror at home to see why you are having hip, knee or back pain! Good lower limb stability and control comes straight from your gluteal muscles, and if these aren’t functioning right – your back, hip, knees and feet better watch out!
Why is Lower Limb Stability Important?
Stability of the Lower Limb ultimately derives from your hip. The muscles surrounding your hip work to keep your entire body upright on top of your legs and vice-versa work to maintain correct alignment of your legs. I see far too many injuries caused by poor hip stability, such as:
- Patello-femoral pain (knee pain)
- IT band syndrome
- Femoral acetabular impingement (hip pain)
- Iliopsoas tendinopathy (groin pain)
- Patella tendinopathy
- and much more hip, knee and foot repetitive strain injuries!
So What is This Quick Test?
The simple Single Leg Squat is a fantastic test to look at Lower limb bio-mechanics and control and can easily show you why you are getting pain or tightness down the chain,
This is best done in front of a mirror or video camera.
Standing on one leg with your arms straight out in front of you (Your other leg can be out in front or bent beside your other leg but never touching the ground or other leg).
Squat down like you are going to sit on an imaginary chair behind you. Stop and come back up when you reach your challenge point (before you fall over).
10 times (If you can!), then start again on the other leg.
What to look for:
- Your knee should track straight above your foot, towards your big toe. Typically with poor hip stability you will see the knee going inwards or shaking – If it does this your glutes are not firing or strong enough.
- No hip drop – your pelvis should stay level (horizontal) if it drops – we have a problem!
- Your knee bends right forward past your toes – you are relying far too much on your quads and not using your Glutes and so leaving your leg vulnerable.
- Can’t do 10 reps or you start doing any of the above three towards the end – your Glutes have poor endurance.
So, how do we improve your results?
See my post on Exercises to Improve Glut activation and strength and re-test every two weeks to check your progress.
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