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For most people, activities of daily living are generally very low risk in terms of musculoskeletal injuries. The normal routine of work, home and family fun shouldn't be particularly challenging physically. However, there are some fantastic exercises that can be included in an exercise routine that help reduce that risk even further. This week, I'll share a few ideas for incorporating these types of exercises and I'll also introduce one of my favorites.

In general, there is much more harm done to one's body from a lack of physical activity in comparison to any harm that may arise from exercising. The risks of heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and other lifestyle-related conditions poses a far greater risk to the general public than the occasional ankle sprain or torn rotator cuff.

With that said, musculoskeletal injuries are a real concern for some -- especially as we age. It's important to maintain musculoskeletal health to ensure that we can remain physically active, and thereby reduce our risk for developing any lifestyle-related conditions as those described above. So, it behooves us to perform preventive strength training that will prepare our bodies for physical activity in a safe, effective fashion.

The best exercises for injury prevention tend to be the simplest, and it's important to focus on strengthening the areas that are most frequently injured. These include the hips, lower back, shoulders and neck. I also recommend performing very controlled, slow repetitions when training specifically for injury prevention to maximize time under contraction. This type of training takes a little more discipline, but moving slower will build more endurance in the target muscles.

This week's exercise is a fantastic way to help prevent hip and lower back injury. The Hover Drive Lunge is performed with light dumbbells that create a slight imbalance to simulate real-life conditions. It's appropriate for almost any fitness level, as well.

  1. Select a pair of light dumbbells and hold one in each hand. Stand with your feet together.
  2. Now step back with your right foot so that you're in a lunge position with the right knee hovering just a few inches above the floor with the left hip at 90 degrees.
  3. Press your right arm overhead and extend it straight (hold it there).
  4. Your left hand should be right beside your left shoulder, just holding the dumbbell still.
  5. From this starting position, you'll lift the right knee up by pressing on your left foot.
  6. Lift the right knee until it's at chest height, then slowly step back into the rear hover lunge position.
  7. Repeat for 12 repetitions with the right side, then switch sides (both arms and legs) for the left.

The Hover Drive Lunge can be done without dumbbells to help build confidence initially. The key is to move through the motion in complete control of momentum, speed and balance. This will prepare the hips for future physical activity and the normal movements that accompany daily living. Enjoy!

Matt Parrott has a doctorate in education (sport studies) and a master's in kinesiology and is certified by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Photo by Celia Storey
Amy Williams of LIttle Rock Racquet Club does steps 2 and 4 of the Hover Drive Lunge exercise for Matt Parrott's Master Class Master Class column in Style.
Photo by Celia Storey
Amy Williams of LIttle Rock Racquet Club does step 3 of the Hover Drive Lunge exercise for Matt Parrott's Master Class Master Class column in Style.

ActiveStyle on 07/15/2019

Print Headline: Hover Drive Lunge used for injury prevention


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