Leg Lowering for Core Stability and Strength?

What is your opinion on leg lowering for core stab and strength? Both single leg and double leg?

It's got to look like this.

When performed correctly, these moves meet the Joint by Joint approach.  How often these moves are performed correctly is severely in question.
The challenge to meet stiffness between the lumbar spine and the hips usually demands extraordinary hip mobility to get this done and get some kind of training effect.  Any movement into flexion or extension of the lumbar spine during these techniques is a mistake.

I learned from Wayne Rath several years ago a scoring MMT for the anterior abdominals using the double leg lift and lower.
You would put your hand under the individuals back and start in an accepted neutral.
A score of 4 is if you perform a full double leg lift up and down.
A 3 is all the way up, but then you lose it half way down.
A 2 is losing it after half way up, and a 1 if you can’t get half way up.
I used this a little bit, but it was so long ago where I was still brainwashed into thinking that I had to fill up a PT evaluation sheet with ROM and MMT trivia.  There was also no scoring skew for pain or for how high the legs go up.

An interesting key that I see these moves almost more as tests or exhibitions of something very, very positive and valuable, but you probably don’t get better by practicing it under a limited environment.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXs5HoRPvm0[/youtube] Keep in mind that the ASLR movement-based test has a more lax demand for lumbar spine motion than the exercise-based training choices.

You can do a lot better in terms of training, but these moves can be done correctly and can be defended.

  • May 30, 2011

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Elsbeth Vaino Reply

I know a lot of coaches talk about lumbar flexion in the single leg lift, but I just don’t see it. I find with one leg down, that lumbar flexion is actually hard to achieve. Am I missing something? I quite like the single leg lift, and often use it with a hold and then an extra stretch and hold with the goal of increasing stable range. I also like the single-leg lowering, where the other leg is on a wall, and the cue is to ensure hamstring tension on the other leg stays the same – because if it changes, that would indicate the pelvis is moving and thus the core is not stable. I dislike the double leg lift because it is so easy to go into extension. Most people just can’t do them well, and the result can be low back pain. To me, there are much, much better options.

Charlie Reply

Elsbeth-This is correct if you can maintain the lower leg position in neutral and knee extended. This position of the down leg stabilizes the pelvis on the same side.
The split position of the pelvis, which is the true measurement in the ASLR, is what stabilizes the spine, so there is no vector for the lumbar spine (L5) to move. If the pelvis is not reciprocal, L5 will follow.

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