Video: Kettle Bell Front Squat

For those of us without an earthquake bar sitting around, this is an equally good tension creator.

     Certain individuals find themselves swimming around in their joints due to an inherent laxity of stabilizing structures like ligaments and tendons. You know who you are, you're the one reading this on the floor in the splits, thinking nothing of it. Due to this laxity, and consequently large degrees of motion found in the joints it can sometimes be hard to voluntarily rein in and control every joint needed in movement. The more joints needed in said movement the harder it becomes to control. Proprioception in these folks, shocker, has been found to not be a strong suit.(Ferrell, W. 2004) This is where the exercise above can be helpful. When you put a weight on an elastic band the weight is in constant flux. The body is charged with the task of being vigilant to the ever changing stimulus of multi-directional weight change. So it has no choice but to create tension to react to the next input. Another added benefit is there is no need to try to think about what you must do, your body will simply react and if your body wants to stay standing which it usually likes to do, you will succeed. I find this is a great way to create a sense of compression and centration in the joints that is so often lacking in these people.
     Of course with any exercise you start out slowly progressing to this type of exercise. A nice start is just holding a small kettle bell with an elastic band and trying to hold it out in front of you oscillating it a small amount to introduce the body to the stimulus. Increase the amount and range of movement in a slow and methodical manner that works for yourself or your client. Have fun!!

Catherine Cowey