Are You Ready for the Bottle Cap Challenge?

by Leython Williams, PT, DPT, CMTPT1 Comment

If you have been on social media over the last few weeks, chances are you have seen the bottle cap challenge. This internet challenge requires you to unscrew a bottle cap with your foot, typically with a roundhouse kick.

Although the challenge seems simple enough, it requires components of balance, body awareness, core strength and flexibility to be able to perform successfully. Thus it is important to consider these factors prior to trying the bottle cap challenge in order to decrease injury risk. Here are a few exercises that will be helpful as you prepare to yield to the latest online challenge:

  • Please do not perform this challenge if you are currently injured or have any known functional impairments that may make this activity unsafe.

Air Squats:

  • Keep your feet at shoulder width apart and pointed straight ahead.
  • When squatting, your hips will move down and back.
  • The lumbar curve in your spine should be maintained, and your heels should stay flat on the floor the entire time.
  • In air squats, your hips will descend lower than your knees.
  • Perform 20-30 reps total.

If you feel joint pain in your knees, you are likely either going too low or not using the correct form. In many instances, knee pain comes as a result of putting your weight more toward your toes instead of the back of your heels.

Reverse Lunges:

  • Stand tall with your hands at your hips. Take a large and controlled step backward with your left foot.
  • Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted.
  • Return to standing position by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep.
  • Alternate legs, and step back with right leg.
  • Continue alternating for 20 reps total.

Unilateral Three-Way Kick:

  • Begin this exercise by standing on one leg.
  • On the opposite leg, kick your leg forward, then lower it back to the starting position without letting it touch the floor.
  • Repeat this kicking motion sideways and backward with each leg to complete one repetition.
  • Perform 2-3 sets of 10 repetitions on each leg.
  • To increase difficulty, this exercise can be modified and performed on a step or unstable surface like a foam pad.

Ready to Kick?

The bottle cap challenge requires dynamic balance as well as body awareness, core strength and flexibility. Before participating in this internet challenge, make sure to practice these exercises to improve your balance and minimize the risk of injury.

If you would like to learn more from an Athletico physical therapist, please use the button below to schedule a free assessment at a clinic near you.

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The Athletico blog is an educational resource written by Athletico employees. Athletico bloggers are licensed professionals who abide by the code of ethics outlined by their respective professional associations. The content published in blog posts represents the opinion of the individual author based on their expertise and experience. The content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only, does not constitute medical advice and should not be relied on for making personal health decisions.

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Leython Williams was a physical therapist at Athletico Physical Therapy at the time of this blog.

Read more health resources related to these topics:

Exerciseair squatsbottle cap challengeleg stretchesreverse lunges

1 Comment

  1. Leython Williams (author)

    I’d also recommend a dynamic warm up before you attempt this challenge.

    Dynamic Warm-Ups: Try some basic lunges, leg swings and high knees to engage your hip, knee and lower leg muscles. This increases blood flow to muscles and loosens the joints to decrease risk for injury.

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