25. The Leg Pull-Front
Clients will strengthen shoulder girdle, feel some abdominal work, increase flexibility of hip flexors and calves, and improve coordination. Those with wrist, shoulder, low back injuries should use caution and clients with osteoporosis/osteopenia are safe to perform this exercise.
When I teach this exercise, the main focus is to keep pelvis/hips in line with the shoulders and ankles while kicking a leg. The intention is to kick the leg as high as possible without moving the pelvis. But it is more challenging to keep the pelvis stable, than it is just to throw a leg up in the air. Joe's version of this exercise is to kick as high as possible. If you look at pictures of his leg pull-front, he gets his leg pretty high, but his lumbar spine goes into quite a bit of extentsion (or his low back sags). Teaching leg pull-front this way leaves the lumbar spine and SIJ at risk for injury.
Classical start/Recommended start: plank position on hands and feet, face down, wrists beneath shoulders, ears/shoulders/pevlis/ankles all in the same plane.
1. Inhale to float one leg off the ground, while simultaneously shifting weight backwards to flex the ankle. Kick the floating leg twice, while flexing the ankle twice.
2. Exhale lower leg and return to plank. Inhale repeat step one on opposite leg. Three to six reps of the whole sequence.
To improve lumbar stability: think of tipping pubic bone towards nose when lowering the legs, image pushing down with hamstrings.
To improve overall efficiency of the exercise: inhale into the back of the ribs, exhale to wrap around softening ribs in front.
Modifications: place hands on higher surface (step, bench, counter), ankle motion only, leg kick without ankle motion, perform on forearms/elbows, use push up bars or dumbbells. VIDEO
Challenges: place toes round side or hands on flat side of BOSU, place hands or toes on foam roller, place shins or toes on exercise ball.