Exercise of the Week: Ski Conditioning Series- Kneeling Stability

This week’s exercise is a follow up to last week’s post and demonstrates one way to train postural stability.  The De Stasi (2013) study found that a lack of postural stability, evident in excessive trunk movement while controlling load through the lower extremities, was associated with an increased risk of second ACL injury.

To perform this progression, you should be able to maintain a tall kneeling position without wobbling.  This means supporting yourself with both knees on the ground without bending at your hips. Once you are able to do this, the kneeling stability exercise begins in a tall kneeling position on an unstable surface, such as a Bosu ball, a foam pad, or even a cushion.  You may slightly flex at the hips, but excessive bending at the hips should be avoided. Without using your arms, maintain this position with equal weight distribution through the legs and hold for 20 seconds. Repeat 3 times.

When this becomes easy move onto the next phase, where you lift one knee and balance on the other.  Again, hold this for 20 seconds.

The next phase is to balance on a therapy ball on your knees. Make sure you are near a wall or mat when you first try this so that you can safely stabilize yourself. Finally, once you can hold this for 20 seconds 3 times in a row, have someone challenge you by giving you small pushes/ tugs to try to destabilize you (but not knock you over).

Each of these progressions forces you to use your abdominal and hip muscles to maintain your center of mass over your base of support.

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