I was recently reading about how people were struggling with maintaining ‘ideal form’ or ‘ideal posture’ during certain exercises. Recommendations were obviously thrown around about which muscle was ‘tight’ or ‘inhibited’. I couldn’t help but think… why not look at from the perspective of how your joints move.
What if you’re experiencing knee valgus during Single Leg Romanian Deadlifts? You could look at it from a muscle perspective and look to ‘stretch’ the ankles and adductors. What are your trying to specifically accomplish? There are different factors that affect ‘muscle tightness’ (neurological, structural, etc.) but it seems as though interventions often treat all cases the same.
So how could this intervention look if we kept our joints in the front of our mind? Blend skill and movement acquisition.
If you want to get better at SL RDL you need to get a lot of reps in practicing it. Experiment with wrapping a band above the knee that actively pulls your knee away from valgus. Then apply progressive overload. Overtime increase the challenge of the exercise while lowering the amount of assistance from the band.
You can find endless progressions online that aim to help you improve in the skill of ‘doing the exercise’. However, we should be doing more.
Simultaneously you should assess each joint that is involved in the movement.
Example: Ankle CARs — rotate your ankle in as large of a pain free range of motion as you can. Dorsiflexion, Inversion, Plantarflexion, Eversion. Record yourself and if you notice something glaring in one or more of those ranges, you now have a starting place in which to start working on. If some movements cause pain it may be an indiciation that you should stop doing SL RDL’s temporarily while you focus on improving your joint health.
As your joints start to move better you’ll notice your performance in the exercise improve. Apply this same principal for every joint involved in the exercise.