The Fitness Fixer
The Fitness Fixer

Sixth Group Functional Training: Advancing Ankle and Knee Safety With Single Leg Movement

Here is Fast Friday Fitness - sixth in the series of Functional Fitness Training (Bookspan Basics) to teach your group, teams, classes, students, kids, battalions, or self.

Today, Feb 26th, is my birthday. Celebrate with healthy movement and having some fun. In this Bookspan Basic Training, advance your lower leg stability with single leg use, to be ready for landing from jumps, slips and missteps, and more.

It builds on the Third and Fifth Functional Training exercises where you learned to jump vertically (up and down) and leap laterally to one foot (side to side) with good lower body mechanics.

Assemble your group in neat rows. Stand in front in view of all. Tell them this is a basic, functional physical skill to learn how to reduce knee and ankle injuries during sideways jumps. Remind them they need to use the same principles from previous (Third) Basic Training of vertical jumps:

  1. Have everyone bend both knees to crouch using good bending (knees do not sway inward or slide forward, taught in the first skill), then rise to toes with stable neutral ankle (not bowing outward at the side, taught in the second skill).
  2. Have them stand on one leg only. Repeat crouching then rising to the ball of that foot (half-toe) on that one leg. Rise and lower on one leg. Don't let body weight sway outward to the small toes, turning the ankle. Keep strong neutral stance. Repeat 10-100 times, depending on time and need.
  3. Remind them that when they land from a jump, they use the same good bending and neutral ankle. Then use all good mechanics to hop - jump and land on that one leg. Hop 10-100 times, depending on time and need. Change legs and repeat.

Photo - lower limb stability and placement during landings of all kinds prevents injuries. Practice so you don't turn your ankle or knee.

Each new Functional Training exercise shows how to teach your groups (or self) how to prevent common musculoskeletal problems during the team season or operational theater.

Trainers, Drill Instructors, readers, send in your stories of how you use these in your program.

Good body mechanics are a powerful performance enhancing aid.

Functional Group Bookspan Basics:

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Tags: Bookspan Basics & Academy Programs , Fast Fitness! , Strength

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About the Author


Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.