The Valslide is an inexpensive, portable and effective training tool for improving strength, stability and range of motion in many of the movement patterns used in sports. The purpose of this post is to describe a Valslide exercise that can be used to increase strength, improve stability and enhance range of motion in the hip joint.
Standing Lateral Slide. This is an inner thigh exercise that also works on the hips and core. Because it is performed in a standing position, it is more movement-specific than hip adductions performed in a seated position on a machine.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart on a carpeted or synthetic turf surface. Place a Valslide under your right foot. Shift your weight over the left foot, set the abs, tighten the glutes and bend the left knee as you slide your right foot laterally away from your body. Stop just before the movement becomes uncomfortable, pause and then pull the Valslide medially back to the starting position using the muscles of the inner thigh. This is one rep. Perform the desired number of reps and then switch legs.
Coaching Points. Keep the moving leg straight and upper body erect throughout the movement. Bend forward at the waist just enough to maintain balance. Perform all reps with the one leg and then switch legs. Start with 1-2 sets of 10 reps per leg using body weight as resistance and gradually progress to 2-3 sets of 10-20 reps per leg. Make the exercise more difficult by working against external resistance. Start by wearing a weighted vest or holding a MD ball, weight plate or KB at chest height. Later, attach tubing or a cross-cable device to the moving leg for added resistance.
The act of moving the leg away from the body (abduction) increases mobility, dynamic stability, range of motion and eccentric strength in the muscles of the hip and groin. Pulling the foot back to the starting position (adduction) increases stability and concentric strength.
Wade Lamont, CSCS is a minor league strength and conditioning coach for the AA Frisco Rough Riders – Texas Rangers.