Articles & Resources

Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience in Collegiate Basketball Athletes

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jul 31, 2012 6:39:00 AM

by Art Horne



basketball performance resized 600


Just recently Dr. Stuart McGill, Jordan Andersen and myself published an article in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research examining the link between traditional pre-season strength, fitness, and sports medicine testing to overall on-court basketball performance and injury resilience throughout the course of two collegiate basketball seasons.  Although I would be the first to admit that there are some clear limitations to this study (number of participants for example), key performance predictors (points scored, ability to rebound, block shots, etc) were NOT associated with traditional strength or performance measures so often pursued in collegiate basketball strength programs.

Over the course of the next few weeks I will review this article in detail and provide insight into how actual on-court basketball performance may be improved upon beyond simply finding better parents or recruiting.  


Predicting Performance and Injury Resilience From Movement Quality and Fitness Scores in a Basketball Team Over 2 Years

McGill, Stuart M.1; Andersen, Jordan T.1; Horne, Arthur D.2

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research

July 2012



The ability to successfully predict injury resilience and competition performance from preseason testing is a very wishful goal; however, questions remain regarding this objective: Do tests of fitness have a predictive ability for injury and are there other factors that can be assessed that may predict injury? Are there specific indicators that predict performance? This study was motivated by these questions.

Attempts to understand injury mechanisms and performance sometimes consider links to fitness. Traditionally, fitness testing, at least in occupational settings, has included the assessment of strength (13), joint range of motion (ROM) (23), and physiological variables such as heart rate, blood pressure, and oxygen uptake (2), but the performance scores in the occupational context are difficult to quantify. In contrast, there have been some studies relating fitness to sporting performance that are more tangible. In studies of ice hockey players (6,24), success could be more tangibly quantified from on-ice measures such as total minutes played and scoring chances. Green at al. stated that “goals scored” was not the best measure of hockey skill. Studies of football players suggest that those who score higher on movement quality tests have few injuries (11,12); however, preseason football combine testing is dominated by tests of strength and running speed. Recognizing that movement asymmetry and compromises to neuromuscular control have been linked to both future injury (11,12) and with having a history of back injury (17), movement assessments have been developed (3,4) and have been suggested to predict injury rates. Further, several fitness and movement tests have been implicitly assumed to predict “playing” performance by their inclusion into standard preseason tests. These include tests of endurance, strength, joint ROM, agility, and speed. The question remains as to the validity of these factors when attempting to predict injury resilience and performance.

Although links between moving well and injury resilience and performance seem intuitive, this notion remains controversial. Interestingly, some evidence suggests that fitness training alone may not ensure peak performance or injury resilience (8,20). In addition, movement quality has been suggested to predict future injury (12). A possible mechanism may be that injury changes the way a person moves as an accommodation to pain (consider, e.g., the changes in mechanics throughout the anatomical linkage when limping from foot pain). Having a history of injury, in particular back injury, appears to change movement patterns (17). Movement patterns determine important injury criteria, such as joint and tissue load, together with influencing the length of time and repetitions an individual is able to perform a task with uncompromised form. Compromised form exposes the tissues to inordinate load elevating the risk of injury. Several examples of this link are available, for example, not maintaining a neutral curve in the lumbar spine while bending and lifting decreases the tolerable load at injury (in this case tissue failure [18]); having restricted hip motion is linked to having more spine motion when bending (17). Movement competency has also been linked with anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury rates, for example, having larger knee abduction moments and angles when landing from a jump predicted higher ACL injury rates (9). Given the variety of considerations for interpreting the links between movement, fitness, performance, and potential injury, the goal of this study was to first evaluate some traditional fitness test scores in a controlled athletic group that has a variety of challenging movement demands and also perform an assessment of the quality of movement. It was hoped that following a test group for a period of time would reveal links between specific fitness scores and movement quality with variables to predict injury resilience and performance. If such links exist, they could form a rationale for specific tests to be included in preseason testing.

The purpose of this study was to see if specific tests of fitness, and movement quality, could predict injury resilience and performance in a team of basketball players over 2 years (playing seasons).

It was hypothesized that in a university basketball population, (a) Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season performance scores. (b). Preseason movement quality and fitness scores would predict in-season injury resilience.




Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Must Reads For The Basketball Strength Coach

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jun 17, 2012 7:53:00 PM

Basketball Injuries


Injury Prevention for the Basketball Athlete - Warm-Up


Basketball is a popular and competitive team sport across the world with injuries commonly occurring.  Across all sports, there has been a recent focus on warm-up programs designed to prevent injuries.  The purpose of this randomized cluster trial was to assess the effectiveness of a warm-up program involving running exercises, strengthing, balance, jumping and hamstring exercises, as well as speed training with sport specific changes in direction in elite male basketball players.  This warm-up program was previously proven to be successful in reducing the prevalence of injuries in a soccer population and the specific exercises can be found here.  Eleven elite men’s basketball teams (121 players) were randomized as a team to either the intervention (7 teams) or control group (4 teams).  The coaches and captains of the teams allocated to the intervention group were trained on how to perform a specific set of exercises that they would show their respective teams.  The control teams were instructed to warm-up as they normally would, and there was no standardization or instruction given to any of the control teams.  Injuries, body part, activity, and exposure hours were reported.  Throughout the course of the season, the intervention group had significantly lower overall injury rates (0.95 vs. 2.16), lower extremity injuries (0.68 vs. 1.4), training injuries (0.14 vs. 0.76), acute injuries (0.61 vs. 1.91) and severe (fracture) injuries (0 vs. 0.25) than the control group.

Continue to read this article by clicking HERE.


Sleep Impacts Value In Professional Sports


Data from new research looking at the impact of daytime “sleepiness” on the careers of professional athletes was recently presented at the SLEEP 2012 conference.  These data demonstrate the impact of increased daytime “sleepiness” on a players career.  Essentially this research found that athletes who experienced higher levels of daytime “sleepiness” were less likely to remain with their team after they were drafted.  Those athletes who had low levels of daytime “sleepiness” were more likely to remain with their team in the following years after they were drafted.

These findings have two important implications.  First, it may be important to consider an athlete’s sleep habits as part of the player evaluation process when considering to draft an athlete.  These findings suggest that athletes with high daytime “sleepiness” levels are more likely to not remain with that team in the coming years after being drafted, as such they are a low value.  Conversely, athletes with better sleep habits and low daytime “sleepiness” levels are a higher value pick as they are more likely to remain with their team that drafted them.  Second, the ability to quantify the level of “sleepiness” can be easily quantified using standard survey instruments.  Thus, this is an easy assessment to incorporate into player evaluations and recovery programs to ensure they are maximizing their athletic and regeneration potential.


Continue to read this article by clicking HERE.



Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Barefoot Running: Hip or Hype? Webinar by Art Horne

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Oct 9, 2011 9:20:00 AM

barefoot in boston

Click HERE to view this webinar by Art Horne

Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Strength Coach Podcast #87 featuring Art Horne

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sep 14, 2011 5:39:00 PM



Click HERE to listen to Strength Coach Podcast #87 featuring Basketball Advisory Board member Art Horne as he describes what's new with the Northeastern University Basketball team and his new book, Barefoot in Boston.

Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Audio Interview with Art Horne on

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Sep 3, 2011 6:52:00 AM

In this interview, Art discusses his new book, "Barefoot in Boston: A Practical Guide to Achieving Injury Resolution and Enhancing Performance", as well as discussing some research on barefoot walking and training versus wearing shoes, what to look for in minimalist shoes, how he has incorporated barefoot training with his basketball team, and much more..(including how to take a hack saw to a basketball shoe!)

** This interview is under the members section and can only be viewed with a membership to this site but with fresh information being posted weekly along with interviews from Gray Cook, Dr. Stu McGill and others, membership clearly has it's privileges!

barefoot in boston



Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Integrated Care - Part I : The Language Barrier by Art Horne

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Aug 26, 2011 6:17:00 PM

by Art Horne


Over the past several years I have made the integration of Sports Medicine care and Strength Training a core principle within our department.  This is relatively a new concept as strength coaches and sports medicine professionals have often been pitted against each other by sport coaches, athletes and often themselves.  Although this new path to better health and performance is clearly thwart with challenges, there are some simple steps that both departments can make that immediately impacts BOTH the health and performance of the student-athlete and leaves both professionals looking better in the eyes of all those around them.  Below is a question from a colleague that I wanted to share publicly.  In order to answer his question, as well as many others, it is my intention over the next few months to describe and share with you the many small steps that any college or university can implement in order to provide an improved care and performance model.


I would like to start out by saying that I really enjoy watching the videos and articles that you have released in reference to the approach you use at Northeastern University to bridge the gap between strength and conditioning and sports medicine. I am a strength and conditioning coach for a small Div. I college and also have a background in athletic training. I wanted to see if you could provide more insight as to how you take the results from the screening and testing that you do and then implement them into your programming. We screen our athletes, which consist of the FMS and a couple more orthopedic screens that we feel are applicable to the particular sport (Modified Thomas Test, Bridge w/ Leg Extension, Reach/Roll/Lift, etc….). How would you then use the results in the development of your program? Do you give each athlete individual work or do you use a systematic team approach addressing common faults or dysfunctions? I am torn as to what to do because as I am sure you are familiar with, time I have to spend with athletes is limited and getting them to comply with performing certain exercises on their own time can be very difficult at times. Any advice or examples that you could provide would be very beneficial. Thanks in advance for your time.

The Language Barrier:



The first step in any “relationship” is being able to understand what the other person is saying, and there is no greater communication gap in existence than the one that currently exists between Sport Medicine and Strength Training professionals.  In order to discuss dysfunctional movement patterns, corrective exercises, rehabilitation goals or substitutions/alternatives for strength exercises both parties must share a common language and then demand continuity with these terms.

I remember many years ago speaking to one of our staff members about a particular athlete and suggesting that she speak to the strength staff about an alternative exercise for an athlete who was suffering from some low back pain.  When asked what I recommended I immediately suggested a more spine sparing approach to her current “core strengthening” exercises and that we recommend McGill’s “Birddog” exercise which has been proven to be safer on the spine than the flexion based crunches the athlete was accustomed to in the weight room.  Not knowing what a “Birddog” exercise was, I quickly demonstrated the exercise to my co-worker at which time she smiled and said that she was familiar with the exercise but learned it as a kneeling opposite arm-leg reach.   Confused, (since McGill made the exercise famous as part of his “Big Three”) I asked another staff member what the exercise was that I was performing to which he replied, “a quadruped contralateral reach.”  Now slightly irritated (but happy that the name at least described the movement), I bolted over to the strength room to inquire about their knowledge of Stuart McGill, his research and what they called this particular exercise.  To my surprise McGill’s work had never been heard of and that this particular exercise was programmed as a “Flying Superman” within the student-athletes performance training.  It became painfully clear that the first order of business was getting both staffs to speak the same language, both within each department and across them. 

Because most of the members on your staff (both Sports Medicine and Strength) have come from a variety of educational backgrounds, continuing education courses and levels of expertise, it is important to begin formulating a shared exercise and assessment language in order for civil conversations to first take place.  By investing only a small amount of time and addressing this often overlooked, yet integral first step your staff will begin to enjoy the following benefits:

1. Provide improved services to your student-athletes.  Imagine the previous example taking place and a student-athlete approaching you for help with their kneeling opposite arm-leg reaches.  Now, the name basically tells you exactly what is needed, but imagine you knowing the exercise as a different name and perhaps emphasizing a different teaching point altogether.  Would you teach the athlete how to do the exercise “your” way? Find the athletic trainer who wrote the rehabilitation program to help them out? Or tell them that you’re sorry but you don’t know what they should be doing?  In any case precious time is wasted and as a fellow athletic trainer, this is something none of us has enough of.  In addition, you can imagine the frustration of the student-athlete witnessing your staff stumble through the most basic exercise descriptions!

2. A shared language allows staff members to be interchangeable because now each staff member is calling the same exercise the same name and teaching it while emphasising the same teaching points.  This allows athletic trainers to jump in and help with all rehabilitation programs, and not just “their own teams” as well as provide continued care during an athletic trainer’s absence (sick day, vacation or travel with another team).

3. Continued care and coaching along the performance continuum.   Here’s where the magic happens: whether the athlete your provide care for is one week into their ACL rehabilitation or the starting point guard for the basketball team pushing 300 pounds in the squat rack, the exercises if named the same, taught the same and progressed the same all fall along the same care-performance continuum.    Let’s examine the above example to really understand the power of the shared language.  Imagine on the far left hand side the student-athlete one week post-op ACL reconstruction and on the far right side the starting point guard pushing serious weight and performing at the highest level.  Moving along the continuum from left to right the athlete will experience and undergo exercises such as: Quad Sets, Straight leg Raises, Clams, Glute-Bridges, Mini-Band walks, Wall Squats, Body weight squats, Lunges, Box Jumps, and the list goes on.  At some time this athlete will be in the weight room and not be able to perform the Olympic lift for example programmed for the team that day but can certainly do pull-ups, side bridges and a number of other exercises that the strength coach has put in place during any particular phase or block of training.  If a shared language exists, the athletic trainer and the strength coach can have a civil and meaningful conversation about where the athlete is and discuss and implement substitutions for exercises that are not appropriate for them all while progressing the athlete safely along this care-performance line.  Not to mention, many of the rehabilitation exercises can be implemented safely within strength training program as substitutions for advanced exercises thus minimizing the athlete’s daily rehabilitation time and allowing the athletic trainer who is providing care for this athlete more time to focus on other athletes or say for example address soft tissue restrictions with the same athlete during “rehab” time which often requires a one-on-one time period, thus making their strength training time much more effective.

Now, some people may say that a couple of exercise names or switching names from time to time is really not a big deal.  Perhaps not.  If you only care for one team, perform all the rehabilitation by yourself and no other staff member helps you, then you can certainly come up with your own language.  But imagine for a moment a car factory where all the parts are all called different names, put on in different orders and actually assembled with various degrees of precision.  Would you ever buy a car from a factory like this?  The answer is a resounding no - so how can we expect our student-athletes to buy in to what we are saying if each staff member is saying something different?  By having an Exercise Pool to draw consistent language from, the number of benefits far outweigh any possible downside while also reducing the amount of confusion among your own staff and encouraging an atmosphere of shared help and patient responsibility. 

Next week: How a shared language during initial assessment can limit overall injury rate and increase performance immediately.

Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne

Basketball Sneakers, Ankle Sprains and Ankle Pains

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Aug 14, 2011 9:20:00 AM

by Art Horne




Below is an excerpt from Barefoot in Boston examining why some shoes may be good while others are just plain bad.


So what do “fancy” shoes have that ordinary shoes do not?

The answer may be found in a 2001 study by McKay.  Although McKay’s group did not set out to determine the manufacturing differences between lower end and high end shoes, their findings did point to one feature within many athletic shoes that may very well be to blame. In this study researchers sat courtside and watched over 10,000 recreational basketball participants as they played to determine the rate of ankle injury and examine risk factors of ankle injuries in recreational basketball players. Each participant completed a questionnaire which included questions related to: age, sex, height, weight, protective equipment (ankle brace, mouth guard, etc), shoe type (cut low, med, high), age of shoes, whether the participant performed a warm-up prior to playing, and of course questions identifying their injury history.

After analyzing the data, three risk factors emerged:

1. Previous ankle sprain – those athletes with a previous sprain were almost 5 times more likely to sprain again.

2. Players who did not stretch prior to games were 2.6 times more likely to injure their ankles then those that did.  

3. Players wearing air cells in the heels were 4.3 times more likely to injure an ankle compared to those with no air cells in their heels. (It may be hypothesized that air cells located in the heels of basketball shoes decrease rear foot stability, which may in turn increase the risk of ankle injury.)

“So let me get this straight; shoes with air cells, which were placed within the shoe to help the athlete absorb shock or jump higher actually increased their risk of injury?” 

I think it is also interesting to note that there appears to be a protective mechanism to stretching prior to playing and in fact the authors note, “a relation has been shown between tightness of the calf muscles and ankle injuries suggesting that tightness of the calf muscles may be responsible for ground contact of the feet in the supinated position, with a high risk of ankle sprain.” Now I’m not the smartest guy in this metaphorical room, but anyone walking around in traditional basketball shoes all day is sure going to experience gastroc/soleus tightness via the exceptionally built up heel height compared to forefoot sole height.


I remember reading this study when I first took over the care and performance training for our basketball team and realized that prevention of basketball injuries and resultant time lost due to injury meant so much more than standing on a buso ball three times a week with their eyes closed.  If I was going to have a true impact on preventing lower extremity injuries and pain I was going to have to get into our athlete’s lives – literally.  The following are recommendations and actions which we have taken in an effort to curb ankle trauma ( the leading cause of injury according to Randall Dick’s 2007 study, Descriptive Epidemiology of Collegiate Men’s Basketball Injuries: National Collegiate Athletic Association Injury Surveillance System, 1988-1989 Through 2003-2004).

1. STOP BUYING SHOES WITH AIR FILLED CELLS! There is really two pieces in play here. One - the fact that you’re much higher off the ground inherently makes “tipping over” much easier (ever walk behind a girl wearing stilettos on a Saturday night and witness her ankle flop about? Makes me cringe just thinking about it) and two – add an unstable surface(a pocket full of air – may as well just duck tape a dynadisc to the bottom of your shoe)  to those stilettos and you have the perfect design for the inversion ankle sprain.  

2. STRETCH: getting athletes to do this for the 10 minutes prior to practice is easy since either the athletic trainer or strength coach usually is barking orders, but getting athletes to understand the importance of ankle mobility and dorsiflexion and then addressing it throughout the day is a challenge all by itself.  Providing slant boards or other assistive devices in their locker area or lounge provides additional opportunities for athletes to stretch during the day.  If you want to address this problem you must first address the environment and buy placing a few slant boards in the athletic training room, weight room and locker/lounge areas will surely remind them that this is an important concept.

3. ADDRESS PREVIOUS INJURY:  Previous injury always predicts future injury. This should be addressed on day one or during your annual pre-participation screening times.  Any athlete with prior injury, at least in my opinion, should be further evaluated that day or within the first week and have their limiting factor addressed.  These athletes are going to get hurt again – if you don’t have time to address their problem now, how are you going to have time when they are injured and out for weeks?

a. Encourage your athletes to stop wearing high heels during the day – yes, that’s you big fella. Basketball athletes in general, typically enjoy wearing basketball sneakers during the day in addition to their time on the court.  If you’re ever going to address gastroc/soleus tightness or loss of ankle mobility you have to take away what’s shortening them.  Your ten minute stretch matched up against a day heel elevation doesn’t stand a chance. 
b. Get them out of their shoes altogether.  Obviously this is difficult to and from classes and on the court, but during strength training time be sure to take the opportunity to get the guys moving and grooving without the shoes, ankle tape and braces.  You’ll find that the body has a way to mobilize a stiff ankle all by itself if you just put them in positions that allow for these motions without restrictions.

Learn more about going barefoot, training barefoot and how incorporating a few barefoot strategies into your own training program will help resolve your current injury woes by reading BAREFOOT IN BOSTON.


barefoot in boston

Topics: Art Horne, Health & Wellness

Barefoot Training For Injury Prevention and Performance Enhancement

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jul 1, 2011 12:37:00 PM


Click HERE to view Art Horne's presentation from this year's National Athletic Trainers Association Annual Meeting and Clinical Symposia.

Stay tuned for an E-Book coming soon which will explore the finer points of everything barefoot and how you too can improve performance and decrease your chance of future injury incorporating some sensible barefoot training into your existing program.

Topics: Art Horne, Health & Wellness

A Review of the 2011 BSMPG Seminar by Shon Grosse

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on Jun 17, 2011 12:14:00 PM


Click HERE to read what Shon thought of this year's seminar.

Stay tuned to BSMPG for video's and pictures from the 2011 event.

Topics: Basketball Related, Art Horne, basketball performance, basketball resources, basketball conference, athletic training conference, boston hockey summit, athletic training

A Better Way To Chop - From The Ground Up

Posted by Boston Sports Medicine and Performance Group on May 25, 2011 8:50:00 PM

by Art Horne

Many athletic trainers, physical therapists and coaches will advocate the in-line lunge position for both the chop and lift exercises with emphasis placed on both the in-line foot position along with a vertical tibia and torso as the optimum position to perform this activity.  Although this may be a good starting position to teach the chop as a stability exercise, it may not be the very best position to emphasize the dynamic hip stabilizers and therefore fails to have the greatest carry-over effect to other similar lunging and single leg exercises and ultimately the playing field.

By adopting a position which requires increased levels of hip musculature effort and dynamic stability, this exercise may not only teach appropriate hip and torso position, coordination, and neuromuscular strength but may also serve as a starting position for teaching all split squat and lunging progressions while utilizing the front hip as the primary mover while minimizing the involvement of the back leg.  As previously mentioned, the traditional in-line lunge position with a vertical tibia and torso along with 90/90 positions of the hip and knee serve to promote a challenging teaching position for the Chop exercise while inherently limiting how much external load an athlete/patient can move with good form. 

What this position also limits however, is the amount of involved “dynamic” front hip musculature activity which is obviously required further down the road during both advanced strength movements and on-field maneuvers .  By progressing this exercise from the traditional half kneeling position to a very similar yet more challenging “Hip Dominant” chop serves to not only involve additional hip musculature, but also as a starting point from which to develop and groove a proper split squat pattern.


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Traditional Inline Lunge Position (above)

  athletic training

Athlete creating False Stability by creating a wide base (notice wide distance between back foot and front foot)

athletic training

A Better Way To Chop - note position above



Progressions for teaching and advancing the Chop:

1. Tall Kneeling
2. Traditional Half-Kneeling position (in-line lunge stance)
3. Hip Dominant half – Kneeling (with emphasis on proper position and cueing)
4. Standing Lunge or Squat position.

Teaching the Hip Dominant Chop position:

1. Start in lunge position with right foot forward and left knee down.
2. Hips should be square and perpendicular from cable system so to not have right leg abducted and externally rotated and the left leg abducted and internally rotated (with lower leg kicked out providing unwanted artificial stability) (insert picture here)
3. Patient/Athlete should “load” their right hip and glute by leaning slightly to the right.  This is the most important point while teaching this position and cannot be overlooked or underappreciated.  Without the appropriate amount of lateral shift, the supporting hip will simply rely on its static stabilizers to hold this position, limiting the contribution needed from the targeted dynamic stabilizers and specifically the glutes.
4. Body weight should be over the middle of the front foot with the toes extended under the back foot so to position oneself at the bottom of a perfect split squat.
5. Because of varying tibia and femur lengths, everyone’s position will be slightly different but everyone should answer the same way when asked, “Where do you feel your muscles working?” (Answer: glutes!) and have an angled front tibia as opposed to the 90/90 position so often taught.
6. Not feeling your hip musculature working? Try leaning a bit more laterally.  Because this will be a new position for most people, especially for those that do not engage their hips well (dynamic stabilizers) to begin with, many will avoid positioning themselves in this position due to the inherit ‘instability” associated with it – remember, you’re not jamming the head of the femur against the acetabulum and hip labrum anymore utilizing your static stabilizers to hold yourself in place.
7. Try also placing a Valslide or other 2.5 pound plate under the toes of the front foot to further emphasize the mid-foot pressure and hip activation.
8. Proceed with normal Chop mechanics – pull to midline and push away in two distinct movements so to cross the midline of the body.
9. Always have your athlete/patient rise out of this posture after their last rep to further cement this movement pattern and bridge your progression from a static chop exercise into your split squat exercises.








From The Ground Up…

athletic training



Since we all started locomotion from the ground up, it might be worthwhile revisiting this initial position in an effort to get back to a more efficient way of moving.  Many physical therapists and movement specialists already suggest teaching the traditional squat pattern from the ground up for those having difficulty with this pattern.  I would suggest a similar approach in an effort to re-establish the split squat and lunge movement sequence.   By doing so, you’ll be loading the front hip in a single leg emphasis movement and lengthening the hip flexors of the back leg all while moving in a spine sparing strategy. 

Sample Progression for Teaching and Advancing Single Leg Movements:

1. Half-kneeling – Hip Dominant - lunge position to standing position (start in kneeling position to teach patients and athletes how to properly move from this position and not from the traditional starting position)
2. Split squat
3. RFE split squat
4. Reverse lunge
** during each single leg exercise, emphasis should be placed on establishing a “Hip Dominant” position while pushing through the front foot/hip and minimizing any contribution from the back leg.

Establishing the Hip Dominant position is a small change but one that can certainly alter the entire course of your training or rehab  and ultimately how your athlete/patient will approach and succeed (or fail) with similar movements involving the lower extremity.  Imagine the impact you’ll have with a patient or athlete by engaging their active hip “stabilizers” from day one instead of having them rely on a static stabilizing system (anterior hip capsule and labrum).

The devil’s in the details. 

My father used to say, “anything worth doing is worth doing right!”

The Chop exercise along with progressions and advanced movements based off of the traditional split squat are clearly worth doing both from a rehabilitation and advanced training perspective and thus should be done with the greatest coaching and attention to detail as possible.  Believe me, your patients/athletes will notice the difference immediately – during their activities of daily living, movement efficiency on the field, not to mention a little bit of glute soreness the next day reminding them they’ve done it right.



Thanks to Sarah Cahill, Strength and Conditioning coach at Northeastern University for her insight and coaching help.

Topics: Art Horne, Health & Wellness