“This is an exercise I developed for athletes - particularly footballers, but anyone can try it. In fact I would recommend it to runners too. As an older runner (46 years old) this exercise has kept me going when any time about now my joints should be starting to show the signs of 35 years of running. This exercise strengthens the para-spinal muscles (muscles around your spine) and gives you strength in activities, which require lateral sideways motion. It is also great for the gluteal (buttock) muscles and quads (thigh). It takes practice but is well worth mastering”.
Repetitions: Repeat 5 x each side.
Clifton showed this exercise to Michael Owen when he was at Newcastle United and uses it has a diagnostic tool during functional muscle testing.
“If you are unsteady during this exercise and can’t abduct (rotate) the leg outwards and then extend it out horizontally (the ball kick simulation), you may be at risk of injuring the knee and lower back during lateral sport (football, tennis etc)."