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  • Writer's pictureChris Kelly

Health<> Disease

Flexion<> Extension

Happiness<> Despair

Everything in life and nature cycles from one extreme to another. I talk a lot about different ways to improve movement, but here is why and the outcome we are seeking. Our goal is to spread stress and movement across as large as range as possible to dissipate stress. The larger the loop, the more potential we have to create force and movement.

Now take who someone is experiencing extension based back pain. Often, their feedback loop has been limited to an extremely small area. This means they have no option but to place more stress on the only area they can access. This is also why surgery or passive therapies alone are rarely the answer. They do very little to restore feedback loops. We have to move to do that.

So what is the solution? Expose yourself to the other side. If all you can do is flex, try to extend. The bigger lesson for me here is that in life, this is why it is important to keep an open mind.

  • Writer's pictureChris Kelly

The problem with this is that these stretches most effectively target the proximal (Upper) portion of the quad without accounting for the distal or lower portion around the knee which is actually responsible for the pain.

The distal knee fibers are responsible for extending the knee and are most effectively stretched by bending the knee as well as loading in to knee valgus and pronation.

That's right, these movements are not evil but absolutely necessary to fully stretch and then awaken these muscles so they know when to contract and let go. Here are three awesome active stretches I like to do just that: . 1️⃣Single leg heel slides- Notice as I slide forward my knee deliberately drifts toward my big toe and in to valgus. This is not a collapse but a controlled reach until I feel a gentle stretch or my heel leaves the ground. . 2️⃣Lateral heel slides- Same intent as #1, but these exercise places greater focus on finding foot pronation. 3️⃣ Forward knee drives- The classic knee drive, but details are crucial here. As our foot hits the ground and moves toward pronation, we must also anterior tilt the pelvis which I am intentionally doing in this video. . Try any of these drills with traditional quad stretching or as part of your warm up before squatting or lunging.

  • Writer's pictureChris Kelly

I am learning about rear foot versus forefoot opposition at the moment.

In yet another "I can't believe I missed that" light bulb moment, learning about forefoot versus rear foot opposition has opened my eyes to something that has been plaguing a L AIC client I couldn't seem to give a right glute max.

In short, as our rear foot pronates in the frontal plane, the fore foot must supinate in order to keep the toes on the ground and open the plantar surface of the foot to become a mobile adapter.

Without the opposition of these two structures, the foot moves as one unit and we get locked in to one foot shape.

I was in a fog thinking about how I can practically teach a rather complex concept to my clients and the airdyne came in to view.

This is an awesome tool to isolate teach portion of the foot and work within specific arcs from early to mid stance.

I used it with a particular client I was having trouble with lately and immediately they felt far more glute in our subsequent drills.

I used the toes hanging off the pedal to emphasize the feeling of pronation versus supination and then switched to the toes.

This is a great segway in to the FFE Split squat in which we can do the same thing.

I like these two together as a teaching progression or warm up tool.

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