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


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.


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


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.


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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