Today's Edge: Test Your Balance With the Airplane.
Your core is responsible for holding everything together while your arms and legs do work. That's the essence of any physical activity. The Airplane test allows us to see how competent your core is while you work to be stable on one leg. It requires one leg to be stable and balanced while you move the body around the hip. The only way this is possible is if your core is operating at a high level. It doesn't indicate a strong core necessarily, but it does indicate your core's ability to communicate effectively and in a timely fashion with your hips. If the core is unable to communicate smoothly with your extremities, you're going to have trouble functioning in any physical activity over a lifetime.
Begin by standing on one leg and taking a bow.
- Place your hands in an “X” across your chest.
- With your chest parallel to the floor, open and close your hip on the non-stance side.
- When opening and closing the hip you should see the same open/close motion at the shoulder. In other words, your hip and shoulder should be completely connected and opening/closing together.
- Your goal is to open and close the hip/shoulder together at a slow and controlled pace 3 times without losing balance on the stance leg.
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Tim DiFrancesco, PT, DPT, ATC, CSCS, spent 6 seasons as Head Strength & Conditioning coach of the Lakers and is renowned nationally for his evidence-based and scientific approach to training, nutrition and recovery for athletes and fitness enthusiasts.
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