Video Series: The Kinetic Chain
These videos demonstrate four different exercises that share a common goal: to fortify the interconnected system of muscles in your lower body – the kinetic chain – while enhancing balance, stability, and endurance.
These routines provide a comprehensive approach to lower body fitness, fostering overall stability and endurance, which can prove beneficial in everyday activities and sports. Using targeted movements that engage various muscle groups, you’ll strengthen your lower body’s kinetic chain – enabling it to function as a well-coordinated unit.
In this series:
Airplane Hip Opener
The “Airplane Hip Opener” is designed to improve balance and hip strength. Begin by standing on one leg next to a sturdy object, like a fence or a squat rack. You can place one or both of your hands on the rack for support. Begin by bending forward, while keeping your back straight. Lower your chest until it’s just about parallel to the ground. Remember to lead the rotation with your knee that’s not on the ground, not your ankle. Open your hip to the outside and hold this position for 2 to 5 seconds, then slowly return to your starting point. Try 4-8 rotations, then switch to the other leg.
Fire Hydrant with Progessions
The “Fire Hydrant” exercise strengthens your legs and hips.
Start by getting down on your hands and knees. If it feels better, you can use a soft mat under your knees for comfort. Lift one knee up and move it to the side, kind of like a dog lifting its leg when it’s near a fire hydrant. Hold it up for two seconds, then gently bring it back down. Perform 8-12 times with one leg, and then switch to the other leg.
To make it more challenging, put a water bottle next to you. Lift your knee up and move it over and around the bottle, going forward and then backward to where you started. Keep doing this a few times, and you’ll feel your muscles working hard.
Isometric Bulgarian Split Squat with Heel Raised
The “Isometric Bulgarian Split Squat with Heel Raised” is a challenging, yet effective exercise, that focuses on strengthening your leg muscles and enhancing balance, while also offering significant benefits for the tendons and ligaments in the knee. To perform this exercise, start by sitting on a bench with your buttocks slightly off the edge. Fully extend both legs and then stand up to ensure the correct distance between you and the bench. Place one foot behind you on the bench, which supports about 10% of your body weight – primarily serving as a stability point. The other foot should be planted firmly on the ground.
Initiate a squat by bending your knee to approximately a 90-110-degree angle while keeping your back straight and your core engaged. Here’s the key: raise the heel of the foot that’s on the ground. This action engages your calf muscles and adds a balance challenge to the exercise. Maintain this position for 30 to 60 seconds, and if you’re looking to intensify the workout, consider pulsing up and down, while holding the squat stance.
Breathe regularly throughout this exercise – paying close attention to your form to prevent any potential injuries.
Around the World Ankle Mobility Drill
The “Around the World Ankle Mobility Drill” targets ankle mobility and improves your balance. To perform this exercise, you’ll need a medicine ball or a light rubber plate weight. Start by standing on one leg with your knee bent at your toes. Make sure to keep your back straight and your core strong while you perform this exercise. Hold the weight in both hands, with your arms fully extended. Once you’re in position, begin by rotating your arms in a circle, going all the way around, as if you’re tracing a big circle in the air. After completing one full circle, reverse the direction and go back the other way to complete one rep. Continue to go back and forth, completing one circle in each direction, for a total of 4 to 8 reps on each leg. Don’t forget to breathe steadily as you perform this drill.