Currently, I have just starting working with a group of talented young soccer girls (ages 11-13). In our Level1 training program for our youth athletes the primary hip dominant exercise is an SLDL. However, like most young athletes, they tend to move from the lumbar spine and not the hips (or it looks more like a squat). From my experience this is pretty common. This is why we regress that exercise by using a dowel (stick) to keep the head, thoracic spine, and hips all in neutral while teaching movement from the hips. This next video is what we want to see…
I would say most of the group got the concept after a few sets. However, this being the second week in the program, I was not sure if it was at the point where I liked the movement quality enough. With some of them I had some of them do cable pullthroughs to reinforce this similar pattern. Cable pullthroughs are a hip dominant exercise that is great to use with beginners. It is also one exercise that can be used with athletes/clients with anterior knee pain, and low-back pain. Reinforcing proper hip hinging is one of the greatest ways to avoid those past two nagging injuries. This is also a great glute/hamstring exercise because it can keep a good amount of time under tension on the glutes.
Few cues: In video, there is probably a little more knee bend that I would prefer just because I really do not want younger athletes turning it into a squatting motion at all, I want it exactly like the dowel stick video above.
- Feet shoulder width, slight knee bent (20-25 degrees)
- Keep chest up throughout (shoulder blades retracted)
- Packed Neck position (neutral alignment): just like dowel video above
- Drive through heels and squeeze glutes hard at the top
So far, so good with this exercise although some of the girls in the group need to keep grinding away with the dowel. I think I have found if they are not getting it after one day that I need to be a little patient and find ways for each individual to be successful. In the end though, the pullthrough could be a life saver for this movement pattern for some people.