We perform a small squat every time we walk or take the stairs, sit/stand from a chair, or go to the toilet. It is performed during most sports, and involves some of the biggest muscles in the body, often at great speed. The foot, knee and hip are dependent on one another in a complex chain of events involving the lower limb and the trunk.

 

30. Ankle mobilising

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To improve range in ankle flexion, place your foot at a distance from the wall, where you cannot quite reach the wall with the knee pushed forward. 

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Keep the hips square, and rock the knee forwards towards the wall.

 

31. Calf stretch 

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Keeping the heel on the ground at all times, lean into the wall to stretch the calf muscles on the back leg. Start with a stretch with the back knee straight.

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Alternate to a stretch with the back bent knee.

 

32. Squat 2 legs

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Stand against a wall, and keep the heels on the ground at all times.

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Keep a good foot posture and squat.

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The knees should be falling over the middle of the feet.

 

33. Resisted squat 2 legs 

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Stand against a wall, and keep the heels on the ground at all times.

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Maintain a good foot posture and squat with each knee falling over the middle of the respective foot, resisting the band which is trying to pull the knees inwards.

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At the bottom of the ¼ squat, pause and push the knees sideways by rotating the hips outwards, then come back to neutral and stand tall again.

If necessary, widen the legs to increase the resistance and to exaggerate the internal and external rotation of the hips. 

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34. Crab walk

Bend the knees and step to the left and then to the right to strengthen the hip muscles.

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35. Squat 1 leg

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Stand on one leg against a wall, and keep the heel on the ground at all times.

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Maintain a good foot posture and squat with the knee falling over the middle of the foot.

 

36. Squat 1 leg – resisted

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Attach the resistance to the inside of one leg so that it tends to pull the knee inwards. 

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Work actively to externally rotate the hip against the resistance, maintaining a neutral knee and foot at all times. Perform a ¼ squat, keeping the knee over the middle of the foot.

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At the bottom of the squat, you may wish to practice internal and external rotation of the hip. 

 

37. Backward lunge

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Attach the resistance to the inside of one leg so that it tends to pull the knee inwards. Make sure the band is in front of the other leg. 

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Work actively to externally rotate the hip against the resistance, maintaining a neutral knee and foot at all times. Step backwards with the other leg into a lunge. Perform a ¼ squat with the front knee.

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At the bottom of the squat, you may wish to practice internal and external rotation of the hip.

 

38. The clam

Lye on your side with the hips and shoulder pointing to the ceiling. Rest your head on your arm. Have your ankles together, hips at 45 degrees, and knees at 90 degrees.

Keeping your feet together, and upper hip pointing to the ceiling, lift your knee by rotating outwards at the hip. Avoid rotating the pelvis or the trunk.

 

Also consider including:

Knee bend stretch
Hamstring stretch
Hip hitch
Foot posture