In this issue, Mike O’Hara, PT gives ten reasons to love lunges. Video of lunge exercises/progressions are included. In Going Grizzly, Mike presents the exercise combination of Crawls and Sandbag Carries; a combination that helps you train more efficiently and move better. Watch the video for instruction on these exercises.
Getting up and down off the ground is a movement skill we need to maintain. It is the functional exercise activity that keeps us safe and independent for a lifetime. Developing proficiency in getting up and down off the ground has multiple benefits. It takes away fear, builds confidence, and increases activity in other areas of life. Your fitness training should involve activity that makes you better at moving gracefully in and out of the positions necessary to get up and down off the ground.
Getting up and down off the ground is largely a neural activity. Nearly everyone has enough strength, range of motion, and balance—you just need some practice. Physiologically, we know that movement practice makes transmission of neural signals more efficient. Research on motor learning has taught us that repetition, ascending challenge levels, and coaching produces the best results. The knee to hip skips exercise will improve from the groundup movement skills.
Knee to Hip Skip Performance
The knee to hip skip teaches the neural system to link your opposite arm to opposite hip. All you need is some open space. If you have knees that are sensitive to pressure, a mat will make the exercise easier. Assume a half kneeling position (the left knee down and the right leg forward). Rotate the left hip open and keep the right foot firmly planted. Slide the left hand down the left leg to the ground and move the left hand about one foot length away from the thigh. The left hand will be on the ground and the body tilted to the left. Slide the left leg under the right leg. Reach the left leg straight out and lower the left hip down to the floor. Keep the right shoulder blade down the back and the neck long. Return to the starting position by reversing the movement. Perform five repetitions on each side.
Every workday I find physical therapy patients who struggle to get up and down off the ground. This is a drill that nearly everyone needs to practice. It is often the most difficult phase of the Turkish Get Up, the ultimate ground based movement exercise.