The Cooper Institute

Founded in 1970 by the "Father of Aerobics"
Kenneth H. Cooper MD, MPH


Improving Stepping Movement Patterns with RNT

Posted in
Fit Tips

Friday, Sep 30, 2016

Stepping movement patterns are an integral part of daily activities: walking, running, walking up stairs, stepping into the bathtub, and anything that requires being in a single leg stance. A compromise to the stepping function can result in a decrease in efficiency which can ultimately affect performance and can even lead to injury due to the compensations that result. While stepping may seem like a basic task, the movement requires proper coordination and stability between the hips, with one having to support the load of the body while the other moves freely, all while the pelvis and core maintain stability and alignment.  Firing all of those muscles at once and in coordination can often be difficult especially if weakness or lack of mobility exist. One way to enhance this movement pattern is through the RNT Single Stance with Core Activation exercise. RNT stands for reactive neuromuscular training. RNT is characterized by forcing the body to engage and react properly by being in a challenging position under load. Including RNT exercises in an exercise programs serves to improve functional stability and enhance motor-control skills.

To perform this exercise:

Anchor the tubing at the high attachment. Stand facing the anchor point, holding both ends of the tubing with the elbows extended and the arms in 90 degrees of shoulder flexion parallel to the floor, so that there is tension on the tubing. Place the feet shoulder-width apart with the toes pointing directly forward. 

Movement: Retract the scapulae. Bring the arms down to the sides until the hands are at hip level. While holding the position, raise the leg until the thigh is parallel to the floor with the knee bent. Pause and then lower the leg back to the floor and then raise the arms back to parallel to the floor. Repeat this time raising the opposite leg.

Tips: If more resistance is needed, move further from the point of attachment. The participant may also add a heel raise after the leg is raised to amplify this exercise.

For more information on helping exercisers to improve movement quality, join us for our next Functional Movement Screen and Functional Fitness Training course at The Cooper Institute.