Clinical Pearls: The Single Leg Stance with Kendra Toothill CAT(C), CSCS, NKT®, FMS

This week’s tip is written by my old friend Kendra Toothill (@toothillperform). Here she discusses a quick 1 minute assessment strategy she uses on her patients’ by observing their movement during the one leg-stance. Great stuff to add into your daily practice ladies and gents — be sure to leave your comments/questions below. -Thomas

The Single-Leg stance is an important assessment tool I use with every client, primarily to determine potential dysfunctions of the lower body and hips (and even the upper body!). Starting my observation at the foot, I ask the patient to balance on one leg and observe for 20 to 30 seconds. After waiting 5 to 10 seconds, the patient will reach equilibrium which then opens up an opportunity to gauge the foot’s preferential position.

As I watch the foot, I can determine if it prefers to be in either supination or pronation.
If the foot spend more time in a supinated foot, then I can assume (which I later confirm with testing) that the tibialis posterior is overactive. Conversely, if the foot “hangs out” longer in pronation, I assume the peroneals are causing this dysfunction.

Is the ankle more inclined towards pronation or supination?

  • Ankle Pronation-orientated: investigate the peroneals for tightness and overactivity and confirm with further testing
  • Ankle Supination-orientated: investigate the tibialis posterior for tightness and overactivity and confirm with further testing

Be sure to spend at least 20-30 seconds of observation, and check both sides. Don’t be afraid to repeat this several times in order to gather enough information. The idea is to use this information, and later confirm with other testing to see the whole picture.

Try it out and let me know what you think!


Kendra toothill is a certified Athletic Therapist (CAT(C)) and Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). Since graduating university, Kendra has been on a pursuit to enhance her existing knowledge about functional exercise, compensation patterns and movement dysfunction. She is Functional Movement Systems (FMS) level 1 & 2 certified & NeuroKinetic Therapy (NKT®) level 1 certified. Kendra currently works with athletes aged 12-18 in a school and team setting and also works at an athletic therapy clinic called North Star Athletic Therapy, located in Edmonton, Alberta. Please visit her clinic’s webpage, her linkedin account or like her facebook page “Toothill Performance – Kendra Toothill”

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