Are you Fit to Run? - Single Leg Stance

Strength, flexibility and balance help you run better and avoid injury. Take these six simple tests to assess yours



by Sam Murphy

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single leg stance

Why is it important?

The single leg stance is a strength, balance and coordination challenge. "Ground reaction forces go through one leg at a time in running," says Giles. "This test highlights any discrepancies between right and left leg and hip function, as well as the stability of the entire kinetic chain [trunk, hip, knee and ankle alignment]."

How to test it

With bare feet and your arms outstretched in front of you, lift one foot off the floor in front of the support leg (it needn't be lifted very high), and flex at the hip and knee to lower the body, as if you were going to sit back on a stool. "You'll know if you've done it right if your butt moves before your knee," says Giles.

Score 1 point for each of the following:

  • The shin is at 90 degrees to the thigh
  • The ankle, knee and hip are in alignment (the knee doesn't collapse in)
  • Your heel stays down 
  • The waistband stays level (the hip doesn't 'hitch')
  • Your trunk is in proper alignment, parallel to the angle of your shin

Scored 3 or less?

If you also score 3 or less for the double leg squat test, focus on improving your score there before worrying about the single leg stance. But if you did OK in the double leg squat, then practise a modified single leg stance with the heel of the lifted foot just touching the floor for additional balance, gradually taking more weight on the support leg as you improve. Alternatively, hold on to a support to help you develop the appropriate balance and strength. Adding step-ups and lunges to your repertoire will also help you improve your single leg stance prowess.


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Are you Fit to Run? - Lunge and Return
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Thomas Test: Thigh

 
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Discuss this article

Not too sure.  Running involves a symbiotic relationship between the organic machine composed of muscles, tendons and ligaments and the ethereal consciouness that desires the sense of fluid motion that running provides. It is an artform that involves the flow of locomotor muscles whilst the agonist, antagonist and synergistic actions of stabilising muscles anonymously endevour to provide the platform for the driving momentum  On this basis it is logical that tests such as those detailed in  Kelvin Giles' Physical Competence Assessment Manual which test the integrety of the machine should provide a reliable and valid tool in assessing ones fitness to run. However, the greyness of this mortal coil invariably means that some disparity and divergence exists between the art of running and the mechanistic prediction of ability and capacity such that the various assessment tools whilst indicative they fail to be predictive. Therefore runners should always consume the fall out of such analysis with a liberal garnish that allows the contextualisation and interpretation of the tools prediction with common sense and reflection upon what those annoying and noxious signals emenating from those tingling sense organs heralding the coming of compression hosiery.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 13:58

You should meet Ricky Bennison.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 14:16

Just what i was going to say....
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:56

Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:58

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Hits head against wall...
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:04

. wrote (see)
Hits head against wall...


Are you sure it didn't strike the wall?

<ducks>


Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:43

Man, you need to get out more!
Posted: 30/06/2011 at 08:39

But who the heck is Ricky Bennison?

Any clues is the person a lad or ladette??? I mean is the person a man or woman?

Karen, GOOGLE it!


Posted: 01/07/2011 at 19:27

is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 21:15

eden bassy wrote (see)
is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.

 The mind boggles!
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:12

This is Ricky

Enjoy


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:16

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy

RW gold. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:40

Oh yes
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:42

For anyone wanting skim highlights, I don't appear till page 7. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:54

Ricky Bennison wrote (see)
It occurs to that the term striking in regard to a runners landing foot insinuates a deliberate attempt to apply force to the ground. As the ambition of the landing foot is to land with minimal impact on the ground surely the term striking is a misnomer with negative potentialy harmful connotations especialy in regard to people injuring themselves by hitting the ground overly hard with there foot .


LOL it must been a full moon.

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy


 Turns to page seven


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:24

Damn it the bat has returned I'm off.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:40

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