Single Leg Strength (24 min)
1. Knee flexion
What would you say to someone who is nervous about bending their knee past their ankle?
2. Hip stability
What's the first activation exercise that comes to mind when you think of targeting the hip stabilizers required to balance on one leg?
3. Dynamic balance
How does dynamic single leg movement support static single leg balance postures?
Choose 1 standing posture and break it down into a minimum of three component parts.
For each component, describe one movement that could be used for activation. Use the Detour Map below to assist with this process as you look at how to then integrate the activation movements into a "flow" that would ultimately include the initial posture chosen. You may wish to write this in a word doc first and then copy your work into the box below when you're ready to submit.
For example: Side-angle pose
Selected components: hip external rotation, shoulder flexion, knee flexion
Hip external rotation --> Hip CARs w/ ball
Shoulder flexion --> Shoulder CARs at the wall
Knee flexion --> Supine hamstring curls with blanket
Start standing at the wall in mountain pose with back to the wall. Reinforce postural alignment of head/thoracic spine/sacrum at the wall. Bring awareness to the breath.
Step forward from the wall. Introduce scapular CARs, followed by shoulder CARs, one arm at a time.
Stand with right side toward the wall, using this as an element of restriction to bring more intensity and activation to a second round of shoulder CARs. Repeat in both directions 3-5 times per side, emphasizing isolation of the shoulder while keeping the trunk and pelvis stable.
Turn toward the wall, placing the hands at shoulder height. Walk the feet back until there is more load in the upper body, aligning your body like a plank. Hip CARs on each side 3-5x, using the pressure in the hands to keep the upper body still. Focus is on the rotation coming from the hip without borrowing from the spine or pelvis.
Return to the centre of the room and realign the spine similarly to how we started at the wall, stacking the head, thoracic spine and sacrum. Move through a sun salutation, pausing in downward dog to observe the overhead position of the shoulders - how does it feel following shoulder CARs? From downward dog, come to seated and place blanket under heels before moving onto your back.
Hamstring curls with feet in dorsiflexion (mirroring the same ankle position we'd use in a side angle pose). Aim for 10 reps, keeping the hips slightly lifted through the movement (or bringing the hips down during the concentric phase). After the final rep, roll up or off to the side to quadruped, and from quadruped to plank. Lower to the floor before moving into upward dog and downward dog.
Step the right foot forward into a high lunge, arms overhead. Contract the hamstrings, pulling right heel toward the back of the mat. Transition to warrior 2, emphasizing external rotation of the leading hip. Reverse warrior into side angle, placing right elbow to thigh or fingertips to floor or block. Left arm will draw big circles in each direction, referring back to the initial shoulder CARs. Eventually left arm will find a straight line, reaching to create a long diagonal from the back heel to the extended fingertips. Hamstrings continue to draw the front foot back while external rotation supports the flexed hip.
Step back to plank for those who wish to take a vinyasa here, or return to downward dog. Left foot steps foward and we repeat the same sequence on the second side.