Youth athletes and their feet!
Posted: 21 November 2008 11:02 AM   [ Ignore ]
Puppy Dawg
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Hi Mikki!
I have been working with a youth Lacrosse team (9-12th grade) for 3 weeks almost all of them get on the inside edge of their feet for squats (it’s horribly and awful - I’ve seen many cases of this in my years but as a collective this is jaw dropping weird). I’m telling you…it’s seems structural!

It’s good to make cuts/accelerate/decelerate off the inside edge but our air squat and barbell lifts are all jacked up! Honestly, even their first step in acceleration is skewed because of their inability to plant properly.

Any idea what gives?
Is this developmental?

These kids are average athletes - most play one sport - parents say the rest of the time is videos - no real muscular definition or development.

I know I have made an initial impact but I really need to figure out what is going on with their feet!

Thanks for any input.

In Strength,
Jerry

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Posted: 21 November 2008 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Heres a couple of things you could try Jerry. First see if they can physically keep their knees pushed out. So in the bottom squat position, can they push their knees to track over their feet? if yes, then it is just being lazy. Take a piece of pvc pipe or just your leg, and hold it to the outside of their foot and have them touch the pipe.

Maybe their stance is too wide causing their abductors to pull inside, which in turn cause them to lean on the inside of their feet. Try bringing them in slightly.

Flexibiliy also could be a problem, but if all of them are doing it, hmmm not sure. Have them squat to a depth right before the knees or feet start to roll in.

Well hopefully some of this will help, and others are sure to chime in. Let us know.

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Posted: 21 November 2008 01:46 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Jerry,
We notice this most often when kids wear the “skater” shoes, the seem to have the lateral integrity of slippers, and the kids just roll out in them. I ask them to take the shoes off ( this helps them feel the weight placement better anyway)
and see if it corrects.
Additionally, a higher percentage of kids with tight hamstrings exhibit this problem. Stretching may help.
As a group - If you have a group of pre teens or teens rapid long bone growth in adolescence may be exacerbating the problem, with muscles and tendons playing catch up.

We have some other ideas as well and will put a video up here next week that may help.

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Posted: 21 November 2008 03:48 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Thanks for the quick and thoughtful reply.
We are barefoot so shoes are out.
We have made progress with guys who have the mechanical issues.

I’m going to go with some hamstring stretches and see - I’m also guessing that we need to stretch the calves. When we do acceleration/speed drill work their plant foot is not on ball of foot where it should be instead its on the same inner edge and rotated…after your comments I’m thinking hamstring and throwing in those calves for good measure.  Simple planting and plantar flexion is a challenge for these guys - skipping is real tuff!  Their gpp and general athleticism was low so I chalked it up to being de-conditioned and being underexposed to movement…2-3 weeks later and I’m contacting you wondering what the heck is going on!

Their coach sought me out to improve their speed so we spend the first part of a session on that and then classic CrossFit.  I can improve their gpp but really need them to be able to apply force productively!

I look forward to your video and further input.

Thanks a ton.

In Strength,
Jerry

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Posted: 03 November 2009 05:22 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I found out my right knee was tracking in after I injured it. Doing the PT I found my right arch was low. Looking for good arch supports I found I could raise my arch by pressing down on my big toe or on the ball of my foot right behind my big toe. The muscles in my feet and lower calf were so atrophied from constant arch support that my toes/feet would cramp anytime I flexed my arches; at first. I spent a couple years training them and now I have no arch supports and no cramping. If the kids are barefoot and still have low arches and weak ankles have them press down on their big toe and watch the arch go up. Make sure they know know what it feels like so they can maintain it. If the arch does not visibly move the toe will probably cramp. The cramping will go away as the muscles get stronger. Unfortunately the cramping means they’re doing it right; this was the case with my wife. She also needed a LOT of hamstring stretching in multiple directions.

Since I have been through all this with my own posture I make sure whoever works out with me knows how to stand before we even try to squat or deadlift. For some reason I can’t get anyone to work out with me twice.

HTH,
Mark

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Posted: 16 November 2009 05:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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I have “flat” feet, which would cause this problem without proper arches in the shoes.  But this is probably not the problem if it is a large amount of people.  Just thought I would mention it.

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