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Ankle Band: "Lateral Walk"

Directions: Perform Dynamic Warm-Up exercises at “beginning” of workout
for maximum benefit and improvement.
Pick a safe level; never be unsafe or exceed your capacity to “control” your body!

Lateral Band Walk-1    Lateral Band Walk-2    Lateral Band Walk-3
Stay Square-Stay Low!

OBJECTIVE: Increase hip stability/abductor strength & increase knee stability.

  • Select correct band resistance color!  From my experience, most people start with the green (medium).  A few progress to the blue (heavy).  Very few every use the black (extra heavy).  The yellow (light) is usually too light to offer much benefit unless you are extremely detrained.  *Note: If you over stretch the bands, and especially the yellow band, they can break.  Purchase Ankle Bands Here

  1. Secure ankle band directly above each ankle keeping the band "flat" to minimize pinpoint pressure on skin.

  2. Separate feet slightly as you get into a semi-squat--also called the "athletic or ready" position.  The ready position will load the glute medius hip stabilizers into a pre-stretch.  Your feet should be square and flat.

  3. While staying down low in the ready position, initiate a lateral step (hip abduction) to the side from the hips--DO NOT use the back and tilt or pivot hips as you step because these are compensations! 

  4. Bring trail foot in towards the lead leg to finish your step.  Keep feet separately slightly in order to maintain band tension.  Do not allow band to get loose.

  5. Repeat in the same direction for »8-10 yards then return facing the same way so you use the opposite leg to lead.

  6. Repeat 2nd set or try the related Ankle Band Monster Walk.

Exercise Figure Tips:  Stay LOW and stay SQUARE!  The big mistake people make is standing up then rocking back and forth as they pivot their hips and allow all kinds of compensations to come into play.  MAKE the hip stabilizers and abductors do their job.  Don't allow your low back to take over--stay low and move the legs out from the hips only.  Amazingly, I've only seen one other trainer actually have their clients do this exercise correctly!  Most people don't stay low, compensate, and therefore remove the hip stabilizer/glute medius challenge by getting sloppy.  Quality first--ALWAYS! 

  • Numerous knee ACL injuries can be traced back to a weak glute medius hip stabilizer muscle which is the primary hip stabilizing muscle.  The knee was not the problem as much as something higher up the chain of kinetic movement i.e. the hip stabilizers were too weak to keep the knee tracking in the correct position in the first place; thus, the knee had too much lateral force and failed.  Western medicine will gladly repair your ACL and take your money, but if your problem was poor hip stability in the first place, you still have NOT solved the problem!  The Lateral Band Walk is the best exercise I've found so far to isolate the hip stabilizers for maximum improvement.  If your hips are on fire when doing this exercise--then you're doing it correctly!  If you want healthy knees--then do this exercise!  Think about it!  A simple $2.95 ankle band or an expensive knee surgery!  I'm amazed at how beneficial this exercise has been for fixing many (but not all) knee problems with my clients.  So many times I find that the BEST solution is the SIMPLE solution!  Another example that Wellness Works!

  • In addition to injury prevention, having more hip stability along with more efficient knee stabilization further down your chain of movement will minimize lateral force leaks.  This means you won't spill out as much energy to the sides--you'll be able to direct your energy in the direction needed to move as fast as possible with minimal lateral deviations.  Your knees will track cleanly.  Your running will be more linear and straight line instead of your legs and knees flopping all over the place.

  • How & Where To Buy Ankle Bands

Ron Jones recommends PerformBetter.Com Fitness Equipment
For optimal performance & safety,
I use PerformBetter.Com ankle bands.

*Note: These exercises are intended for "normal healthy" individuals and many are only intended for competitive athletes. 
If you have an injury, or abnormal pain is present, see your physician or a certified physical therapist before continuing your exercises. 

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(Updated 11.23.07)

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