Therapy Thursday – I exercise all the time, can I really be weak?
Many therapists and coaches see a lot of athletes who are weak despite the fact that they are very active. I recently saw a patient for the first time who is extremely active. Runs, Cycles, Swims and does cross training on a regular basis and competes on regular basis.
This person started with an episode of significantly painful knee after a seemingly insignificant event set off some knee issues. After a trip to the emergency room, they were sent to PT to address the pain from an acute muscle injury
Upon evaluation, this person who races up to 70-100 miles at a time was completely unable to do a proper squat, hip hinge, bridge, or clamshell exercise. Many people can’t squat right or hip hinge well unless they’re taught, however this person went to a gym that they base their entire programming around forms of squatting and hip hinging exercises.
At the first session, she was unable to complete 10 clam shell exercises without any external challenge without significant fatigue. that means, Laying on your side, you are unable to lift your knee off the other knee 10 times without problems. This person asks themselves to run 20-30 miles per week, complete thousands of reps of single leg squat per day (running), yet can’t control their hip motion 10 times without added resistance.
It is quite amazing to work with someone so active that is soooo weak. I can recall working with many, many, many people who have difficulty with hip strength in spite of the fact that they work out or run consistently.
If you’re an active person and have ankle, knee, hip, or back pain you may be in this boat. Many times, the hips unlock the pain door and allow us to get through and continue on in life.
Take a look at the video above and try the exercise. We used to use this at a very high level athletic performance center with staggering results. Adding a clamshell exercise or the Comerford Clamshell Progression acts as an excellent warm up drill for runners or before a weight lifting session.
Try it out before your work out or add it into your nightly TV watching routine. It may not be as easy as it looks.