Five Kinetic Chain Check
People frequently wonder if they’re doing their exercises correctly.
There are no simple answers because many exercises are complicated and involve
multiple joints. When exercising, the most important thing to consider is safety
and body alignment.
Use a mirror or your workout partner to determine if you are using proper
form. Also, be sure to following these five guidelines:
- Foot Ankle Complex – The feet should be lined up straight
ahead. Check if the inside (medial) portion of the foot/ankle protrudes outward
in their shoe or if the feet externally rotate.
- Knees – The knees should also point forward. Knock-kneed appearance
is where the knees converge toward each other and they are not aligned over the
middle of the foot. This is very common during squats or lunges and potentially
- Hip/Pelvis/Lower Back – It is very common for individuals to arch their back.
Surprisingly most people do it from a normal standing position. The
lumbo-pelvic-hip postural distortion is characterized by short and
tight hip flexors and erector spinae, and lengthened gluteus maximus and
transverse abdominus (inner abdominal muscles). In other words, tight muscles in the hip-complex and weak gluteus muscles force a person to arch their lower back and pull the pelvis into an anterior pelvic tilt. Focus on contracting your
abdominals and keeping a flat back. Stand up straight and try to tuck your “tail” between your legs until you find a
neutral spine position.
- Shoulders – Shoulders should stay in a neutral position and should not
elevate to your ears. Also keep from rounding (protracting the shoulders)
forward. This is very common among weight lifters who use too much weight. Think of the military when they ask their soldiers to stand ready. Their backs
are straight and their shoulders are neutral or pulled back and down.
- Head – Keep the head in line with the spine. A common mistake is a forward
head movement or protruding chin.
If all five kinetic chain checkpoints are lined up, you’re more than likely
doing the exercise correctly, and most important minimizing the chances of
injury. If you have any questions seek a local personal trainer or contact me at 505-888-1550.
National Academy Sports Medicine Optimum
Performance training for the Fitness Professional Copyright 2002