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Soccer Hip Stability Exercise For The Plant Leg Non-Kicking Leg

Every time you walk, run, kick, jump, or land, there will be a time where you will be on one leg. Here is an exercise that you can do to strengthen the leg that is on the floor while the other leg is in the air. All you need is a stable surface, a partner, and a band if you want to increase the difficulty of the exercise. This exercise targets the gluteal muscles, which are key for hip and knee stability. The key to this exercise is to keep your pelvis and torso stable the whole time.

The gluteal muscles are key muscles that help stabilize your pelvis, and helps control rotation of your femur (the long bone between your hip and your knee cap). When you stand on one leg, the gluteus medius on that leg acts as the primary muscle that keeps your pelvis stable and  prevents excess rotation of your femur. If too much rotation of the femur occurs on a planted tibia (one of the long bones from knee cap to the ankle), it could put too much rotation and stress on the knee. This in turn could lead to injury of the knee. 

Starting Position

  • Stand next to a stable surface that you could hold on to with at least one hand. If you need to, you could use 2 hands to make it easier to balance.
  • Slightly bend the knee of the leg that you are not going to strengthen so that the foot is in the air.
  • Lets say you are standing on your left leg, it is important that you keep your pelvis on the right side from dropping towards the floor. If you keep your pelvis nice and even on both sides, then this means your gluteus medius is the main muscle working... which is what we want.

Performing the Exercise

  • When standing one leg, you are going to pivot your body around that leg. Example: Stand on your left leg and rotate your body to the right.
  • Your hips, shoulders, and head are moving together as one.
  • Now you are using your gluteus medius to stabilize your hip/pelvis, and your gluteus maximus to help your body rotate around your leg.

To Increase the difficulty

  • Progress from 2 hands, to 1 hand, then 1 finger, then no hands.
  • Get an elastic band, fold it in half, and loop it around your waist as shown in the video, making sure that it is anchored to the side opposite the leg you are working out. Give the ends of the band to your friend, or you could anchor it around a stable surface.
  • Wrap an elastic band around the leg that is not on the floor. Now that leg has to work harder to move evenly with the rest of the body.

If you have one, you could use a waist belt attached to a bungee to perform the rotation with resistance. You could find a waist belt, bungee, or an elastic band on the Perform Better website found on our page.

Remember, do not sacrifice form. If your form is off, make the exercise easier.  If you keep performing the exercises with bad form, you might not target the correct muscles.

 

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