Yesterday, in the midst of coaching one of our Sterling volleyball players on how to perform a proper step-down, the girls’ father interjected with, “what’s with all the, slightly on the outside part of the foot, toe-up stuff?”We use this coaching cue all the time at SAPT when teaching single-leg and bilateral movement patterns.
The reason we give this cue is to ensure proper knee tracking.If we don’t give this cue, you’ll typically see the athletes’ foot fall immediately into pronation (arch collapses, and body weight falls towards the inside of the foot).Subsequently, you’ll then notice the knee become valgus (tracking towards, and out over the big toe rather than the middle of the foot) as the glute medius is prohibited from performing its most important function…aiding in proper knee tracking.And for those who don’t know, valgus knee is something we never want to see whether it be in the controlled environment of the training facility, or on the court/field of play…ACL go buh-bye…
The accumulation of “toe-up” repetitions will also begin to condition the foot to become more comfortable in, and improve, dorsiflexion.Improving dorsiflexion is significant as it allows for proper force absorption and propulsion during landing, take-off, or any single-leg foot contact (i.e. sprinting).
Ya I said valgus,