Do you have enough Ankle Dorsiflexion to do this ?  Some clues ?

Two guys pulling 40,000 pounds over one mile in just over an hour !

Watch the video above and then check out this link.

Look at the fellas left foot in the video compared to his right.  Notice the turn out (the increased progression angle as it is referred to as) ?  Now look at the photos from the article link above, again the fella in the red shirt has his left foot turned out again.  Why is he doing this ? 

Because he does not likely have enough ankle dorsiflexion (ankle rocker) to get into this far of a forward lean.  Have you seen this in people or your students doing squats ? Lunges ? Will this present in his normal gait ? Perhaps, but if he has enough for normal gait (~15 degrees past vertical 90 degrees) he shouldn’t need to turn it out.

Turning out the foot will allow you to pronate through the midfoot to gain more dorsiflexion. It is why some people do it.  Look for it.

It is also possible that he has a painful big toe or a hallux rigidus/limitus (ie. turn toe) and thus cannot toe off sagittally like on the other foot or like the other fella.  This turn out will avoid loading that joint as much. 

Regardless, you must examine this fella and figure out why he is using this strategy only on one side.  This is just one theory, but we did not want to pollute this post with a few others. We can do that another time.

Ankle rocker dorsiflexion. It is critical for some activities.

Shawn and Ivo


from a FAcebook reader:

  • Question:  Most sources allow for a small amount of turnout as “normal” in gait - about 7 degrees on average. Should feet point straight ahead? What is the repercussion of turnout, even a small amount? I think in barefoot societies the feet are pointing straight ahead so I wondered where this belief comes from and if it is correct. Perhaps people are losing dorsiflexion from wearing positive heels and are turning out in response? Thanks.
  • The Gait Guys You are correct. zero degrees progression angle is not considered normal….. 5-20 degrees is more “normal”……but it depends on the source. Keep in mind that femoral torsion and tibial torsion will be big players in this foot angle. The more the foot is turned out the more pronation (more than normal) can sneak in. IT will challenge the foot tripod. Weakness in the glutes, (particlarly g. medius from frontal plane challenges ) may ask the limb and foot to turn out to engage a more stable foot tripod. meaning, if you engage another plane (ie. more frontal plane) via more foot/limb turn out you can gain the help from other muscles such as the quadriceps. Reducing the heel height can force one to adapt to the use of more ankle dorsiflexion, you are correct. Hence why the literature suggests less injuries from more minimialist shoes. Hope this helps.