Thoughts from the journey… Excerpts from a day in the life of Sherry McLaughlin

29Mar/101

When a weak quad isn’t…

OK, I've been sitting on this one for a while now just to make sure that what I'm seeing is actually happening.

I have a fair number of patients who exhibit functional quadricep weakness during squatting activities, and not all of these folks have knee pain. I regularly do a squat test during my initial evaluation on most of my out-patient orthopedic clients. Ironically, I have also observed a pelvic rotation (in the transverse plane) on these folks.

So, to cut to the chase, try this test:

3 repetitions of a single leg squat using the TRX or other strap to allow them to use their upper extremities to assist. Don't worry. Even if the "cheat" this a bit, it will be evident which leg is weaker.

IMG_1913Perform 3 x 12 of the kneeling tubing punch using the opposite hand of the weak quad. Here are the specific instructions:

1. Hold the tubing (must be strong resistance) in one hand and allow it to pull the body into rotation to that side.

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2. SQUEEZE THE GLUTEUS MAXIMUS on that side to drive the ASIS forward and correct the pelvic rotation.

IMG_1922

3. While maintaining this squeeze, have the person perform 12 repetitions of a punch while maintaining that pelvic position and gluteal squeeze. Rest. Reset the gluteus maximus and perform for a total of 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

IMG_1923

THEN, repeat the squat test. You just might be amazed at what happens. The quadricep often displays marked improvement following correction of a pelvic rotation.

Give this a try and let me know if it works for you and your patients. Then stay tuned for a little "add on" bonus on how this exercise can improve gluteus medius strength.

Until next time...

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  1. You mis-spelled ASS – you have an I in there…


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