basics of open and closed kinetic chain and its exercises


Steindler extended the concepts of open and closed kinetic chain exercises to the analysis of human movement during the 1950s. He proposed a system to classify two unique approaches to function and exercise

In his description, Steindler characterized the open kinetic chain as a combination of sequentially arranged joints where the terminal segment has freedom of movement

he proposed that the term applies to completely unrestricted movement in space of a peripheral segment of the body as in waving the hand or swinging the leg

open kinetic exercises typically focus on motion at a single joint.

In the contrast of closed kinetic chain exercises, the endpoint encounters a formidable external force, effectively curbing distal movement.

Picture this: the endpoint firmly anchored, as external resistance propels the nearby segments and joints into action over the immobile distal segment.

Here lies the magic these exercises sing the anthem of joint compression, embodying a functionality that outshines their open kinetic chain counterparts

both steindler and brunnstrom noted that the action of a muscle changes when the terminal segment is free to move versus when fixed in place.

for example, in an open kinetic chain the tibialis posterior muscle functions to invert and plantarflex the foot and ankle

in contrast, during the stance phase of gait, the tibialis posterior functions to first decelerate pronation of the subtalar joint and then supinate the same joint to improve foot rigidity for terminal push off

Open Kinetic Chain Exercises

Open kinetic chain involves motion in which the distal segment (hand or foot) is free to move in space, without necessarily causing simultaneous motions at adjacent joints.

for example, during knee flexion in an open-chain exercise, the action of the hamstrings is independent of recruitment of other hip or ankle musculature.

open chain exercises also are typically performed in non weight-positions

during resistance training, the external load is applied to the moving distal segment.

Closed Kinetic Chain Exercises

In closed-chain exercises, the body or proximal segments move on a fixed or stabilized distal segment on a support surface

movement at one joint causes simultaneous motions at distal and proximal joints in a relatively predictable manner.

for example, when perming a bilateral short-arc squatting motion (mini_squat) and then running to an erect position, as the knees flex and extend, the hip and ankle move in predictable patterns.

People typically perform closed chain exercises in weight-bearing positions

example in upper extremities include balance activities in quadruped, press-ups from a chair, wall push-ups from a chair, wall push-offs, or prone push-ups

the examples in the lower extremities include lunges, squats, step-up or step-down exercises, or heel rises.

Alternatives To Open Kinetic Chain And Closed Kinetic Chain Terminology

the terms distal segment fixed and distal segment free are commonly used substitutes. another suggestion is to add a third descriptor dubbed partial kinetic chain to describe exercises

We reserve the term closed kinetic chain for instances when the distal segment encounters resistance but is not absolutely stationary as seen in activities like using a leg press machine, stepping machine, or slide board

another classification system categorizes exercises as either joint isolation exercises ( movement of only one joint segment) or kinetic chain exercises ( simultaneous movement of multiple segments linked by more than one joint ).

boundaries of loading conditions ( weight bearing or non weight bearing ) are not parameters of this terminology. however, other, more complex classification system to take these conditions into account.

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