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The Real Reason You’re NOT Fixing Your Duck Feet

Posted on December 30, 2022

To watch the full video, click here: https://youtu.be/LfHr5jACOJs

If you’ve your clients to have ever experienced duck feet and haven’t been able to get them straight, then you’re going to want to watch this video as I dive into four of the common causes of duck feet, and how to fix each one. But before I crack into that, make sure to subscribe to our channel and turn on the bell to get notified whenever we release new videos on how to adjust movement dysfunctions, optimize functional exercises, or how to even optimize performance results with biomechanical movement, understanding and a whole lot more. As someone who has been in the fitness industry for over 15 years addressing movement related dysfunctions like duck feet, or externally rotated feet, femur, tibia, however you want to call it. This has been something I do on a regular basis. In fact, 80% of my job is helping clients move better, and 20% is sharing information with you. So you can have a deeper understanding of human movement and gain insights into the success that I and my team have had. So in this video, I’m going to go deeper than just saying your glutes are tight, and just stretch them out. And while that may help the situation, there are many more factors to consider. And I’m going to go deeper than anyone else has ever gone before, we’re going to go to the root of some of these causes of duck feet. So if you want to be awed by how the human body works, while also picking up some tips on how to fix duck feet, then stay with me. Now when it comes to addressing any type of dysfunction, you’re going to have to define a given right or make an assumption, to tie into a greater story of why the feet would excellent rotate, right, we’re just telling stories here about possibilities in situations. So with those things, there’s always a biomechanical story that goes with it that we’re going to have to unpack. The goal of this video is, again, is that hopefully one of these scenarios that are very, very common, you can say, ah, that’s going on with myself or with my client. And we can share in that greater knowledge, I know we have to start at the bottom of the chain, because we are talking about an excellent rotation of the foot, and the associated bones and joints to go with that. So if we don’t start down there, then I think we’re going to be missing a lot of the bigger picture. And I’m going to start with a scenario of basically having an inverted ankle or a over supinated foot. And there’s several different ways that that can happen, right? It could be an ankle sprain in the past, it could be just a walking pattern that you’ve dealt with, it could be the shoes that you wear, it could be the trail that you run on, or the slant of the road that you’ve been hiking on or running on for years and years and years. So the backstory and really gets complicated. But the edge of those stories always come to or can’t come to scuze me an overt inverted subtalar joint or ankle joint, if you look on my foot right there, that is a relatively neutral foot, that’s going to be a protonated or an E verted subtalar joint. And this is going to be an inverted subtalar joint or a supinated foot now that can really cause a massive problem that really just by going after the glutes won’t fix, because this is just band aiding what is really being caused way down there. So what I mean by this is that when someone walks right, and they walk on the outside of their foot, for example, that’s going to invert their foot more often. Now, because when we walk our foot actually needs biomechanically, to go to relative pronation or internal root rotation, or the ability to kind of load into the arch and walking, then our foots going to automatically say when I need more access to the biomechanics that just I’ve, I’ve needed from the very, very beginning. And so what it can do is as we start to walk on the outside of our foot, our body is going to realize it feels very stiff, there’s not that that kind of rebound feeling through this lactic elastic tension network of our muscles and our connective tissue. So from that, we can start to say, Oh, let me open up my foot a little bit more, because when I do that, I get actually a little bit more access to that pronation internal rotation loading mechanism that my foot wants to go through. And that says my foot wants to go through but my entire chain, so by telling open we get a little bit more forced access to that role of the inside or the pronation. And our body says, Oh, that actually feels a little softer, a little better. And though my ankles still inverted, I still get a little bit more access to the pronation. My gait cycle feels softer, more bouncy, more elastic, and therefore you create a walking pattern that is towed open. Has nothing to do with any of the other muscles though I will go we’ll go into that much much deeper. It’s simply just a stiff joint. And that’s where we start to unpack and like realize like wait a minute, wait a minute, our muscles causing the problem or our joints or neuromuscular says Some causing a problem? And the answer is, well, it could all be the case. So let’s unpack a few more of the muscles that could cause that. Now, because of that tight ankle or that inverted ankle, you’re going to definitely develop a lot of stiffness. And the first one I’m going to be talking about, is that medial soleus, or that deep calf muscle. And we look at the medial soleus, like really thinking about what is their medial lateral soleus. Now there’s only really one, but remember, you got to think about a muscle is comprised of five, I mean, how many numbers right, massive number of actual muscle fibers, and it’s not just one muscle, it’s let’s just call 10s of 1000s, if not hundreds of 1000s of muscle fibers. And they all run down the muscle and think about it like someone someone’s hair in a ponytail, right? Just such as one ponytail, right? It’s def different strands of hair. So you can have a medial aspect of the soleus be more bound down, be more more myofascial constricted. Now, if that is the case, well, if that gets pulled up, or doesn’t allow shortening, then you’re going to get an essentially an inversion of the ankle. And when that happens, that’s a big deal. Because the soleus is one of those muscles that reserves is a massive decelerator of walking. I mean, it goes through an eccentric load as I step into the ground, that’s a big, big deal. Because if that medial soleus doesn’t have a lengthening cycle, or it’s too constricted, then it’s not going to allow the foot or the ankle to go into a protonated or a heel e-version type of movement pattern. Like Oh, dang it. So what do we do about that? Well, this is the first thing that I always like to do is make sure that that connective tissue has the ability to even go through lengthening, or eccentric loading. So just grab onto a foam tool, doesn’t mean you can’t go hire a massage therapist, but honestly, grab onto a foam ball or foam roller or anything along that ladder and put that on that medial soleus and start to just see what do we have there? What’s the condition of that connective tissue. And if it’s tight, if it’s tender, if it box atcha, then it’s simply saying I’m dehydrated. Pissed off, I haven’t been moving, and I need some love. But it does so in a way that kind of yells at you. Basically, it’s yelling at the neglect that basically has has been been given. So by going through putting a little tension on it, and again, finding into that spot. Now this is a way to do it to make yourself ever comfortable, you can fully stack your body and put both of the weight of your legs through the ball into the connective tissue. And simply I always like to do a foam roll kind of setup or massage setup that allows for you to kind of find the spot that is the worst, stay on it. And honestly do micro motions that could be a pump of the of the ankle, it could just be movement of the feet. But I don’t like to roll around on it, it just it causes too much distraction and too much discomfort, where you’re not able to fully relax into the connective tissue. So I do like to move a joint or joints further away from it to get some movement patterns, but it’s very micro motion patterns. It can be even, I’ll move my leg out of the way, it can be even just air micro just knee motions. So a joint below joints, assuming joints above and joints below. I like to keep the ball on the same spot of the muscle of the connective tissue, but just slight motion patterns to allow that tissue to start to open up. Once you feel the connective tissues literally start to ease where the tension is not so bad. in that spot. Congratulations, you actually have more freedom. Now, more elastic potential.

Now go to a different spot. Remember, a muscle fiber is the size of a human hair if not smaller, so there’s just there’s going to be you’re only going to push on so many of them. When you’re in that spot, you got to search out more and more. Now once you’ve kind of opened up through that, that medial calf, the next thing we want to do is is help the muscle and the joint create more motion. So what I have is I have a band hooked to this stitches post. This is a one inch monster band. And I’m gonna put it just at the base of my ankle. Now remember, when we go through dorsi flexion. When we go through pronation of the ankle, we’re essentially asking the base of the tibia to essentially create room at the talus bone. And that talus bone is basically the top of your foot or the bottom of your ankle. And what we want to do is we want to create not only a gliding motion, but we want to be able to Access, essentially pronation or heel e-version, where the heel goes out, well, if I get a posterior distraction, I can pull this band, I can step forward a little bit. And the band’s pulling my my tip, and fifth, fifth backwards, I’m going to create more space, as I start to actually put weight into the arch of my foot. In fact, even me doing that right here, I feel exactly where that ball was, was on my medial solace, starting to stretch, starting to stretch, because I’m actually going through the authentic biomechanical pattern of me going into loading phase, when my foot strikes the ground and my button, the foot takes the weight. So if I can start to do that, and actually kind of feel the pronation, going into the mid foot, I can actually get that joint to start to open up. Now, we don’t want to make this too too crazy when I’ll pull too hard. But I want to spend the most amount of time on this particular drill because we if we think about what’s happening way up here at the hip, and we think, Oh, we just got to roll that gluten open it up, I’m talking about some other muscles too, we forget what’s actually happening down at the center of the of our point of contact on the ground, the ankle the foot, then we may be missing something a lot. So we always have to start where the chain reaction begins. And that’s the foot. All right, what about the next part? What about moving up the chain? Well, I want you to think about the hamstring, especially the lateral aspect of the hamstring. Now the hamstrings are basically reins of a horse, if you ever ridden on a horse, before, you would get it that you would have a rein in one hand or two hands and out of one side of your hand comes a rope to the horse’s mouth. And on the other side of the hand, comes another rope in a sense to the mouth of a horse. Well, that mouth of a horse now is now the knee and the hamstrings, one rain on the outside and one rain on the inside. What if you take that rain and you pull on the right side? What’s that going to do to the horse? What’s going to turn the horse to that side that you pulled it from? Well, my hamster is going to operate the same way I’m gonna pull and my knees going to externally rotate if I flex, or if I shorten my lateral hamstring. Well, I got to on the inside too. So if I pull that inside, what’s this going to do to the horse or to the knee, it’s going to pull to the inside. So if I have a lateral hamstring that’s pretty bound down and pretty tight. And what’s that’s going to do to it? Well, that’s gonna essentially want to put an external rotational pattern on my knee. Now my knee is just a combination of my femur on top, and my TIB fib on the on the bottom side. So that’s going to want me to externally rotate out. So as I go through my swing facing gate, I have this this external rotation force, constantly there. When my heel hits the ground, it’s already going to start to pull me out. And there we go. All because of an lateral tight hamstring. That could be just because you did a lot of deads a lot of single leg deads or suevey, double leg dead’s right here or single leg kind of bent over rows. And you just want to see you just do squats with toe open so that that hamstring is kind of positioned itself to be a little tighter. Well, honestly, maybe because you drive a car often. And you realize that that gas pedal is not perfectly positioned straight, even though the pedal is your foot isn’t. And it just kind of rests just like that. And you just drive all the time an hour after hour, you sit down and that lateral hamstring just loves to be in that shortened position you get out of the car and are automatically continues to do what we just described. Now, again, besides me going through every single possibility of why this is happening, which is really unlimited. We’re thinking what are we going to do about it. So again, what I like to do is, again, grab onto the soft tissue tool, first and foremost, and start to put some pressure on the outside of that hamstring. Again, were knee all the way to hip, we got to kind of find it, you got to search around and see where’s the connective tissue saying no, that doesn’t feel very, very, very good. Because a healthy piece of connective tissue muscle fascia, tendon cases won’t have a strong strong reaction to some pressure. So that’s a good kind of tell to figure out where you got to go after it. And besides me sitting here and just showing the whole thing, I want you to follow the same process, or the same theory of of unlocking muscle tissue that it did for the calf. And that’s going to be the same way that we can kind of apply this to all tissue. So what do we do about it though? Well, once we’ve unlocked it, we want to start to start to open it up and express it. So if you just have a simple little device like a moped stick or something like that, or even a true stretch behind me here, you can just say I’m just going to set myself up maybe it’s on the ground. Maybe it’s on the box or bench horse or a stool, and I put some sort of support on the outside of me with some that support, I can now internally rotate or rotate my left shoulder, if it’s my right hamstring into it, I’m gonna take my foot, I’m actually going to toe in just a little bit, not even in might describing this and showing this to you, I’m already feeling hamstring stretch, I haven’t even really got into the flexion phase, because I’m taking my TIB fib, my femur, and I’m internally wrote rotating it, I’m taking my thoracic spine, and I’m rotating it towards the same side hip, that creates this amazing spiral stretch in the transverse plane if you’re following along per plane. And then from there, I added sagittal plane or anterior or flexion of the hip and I got an amazing stretch and amazing stretch. And I’m highly focused on just the lateral aspect of that hamstring. Now I can start to pull it and beginning to pull it apart, just like I did with my calf. But I added another aspect of equipment called stability to give me that focus where I don’t have to wobble and make my body fight for the stretch, I’m easily giving it now from there, as you start to move through a pattern of walking, there should be the sense of less extra rotational force less tension on the latter part of the hamstring. So when you stride into it, you can actually feel the spiraling out of your body of the femur of the knee of the tip and fifth of the foot going into that loading, relative pronation phase and began to to perform that gait cycle. And honestly, it’s a phenomenal way just to easily go after a tight latter part of the hamstring. Now, as someone who believes in collective IQ, it’s a bit basic, I’m saying what I know is limited, but what we all know is much more profound. And I’d love to hear what other ways you have maybe found success with addressing duck feet. Now I have two more situations that I want to go into. But go and pause the video, type in the comments if there’s anything that you found, has been very helpful for addressing that little toe open action right there. Alright, let’s go to the next part. Let’s talk about maybe potentially tight adductors adductors Yes, inside sighs inside thighs, those abductors, those five or six different muscles can be super sneaky muscles that essentially whip out that foot into an externally rotated position. In fact, let me show you on an on an anatomical figure of what I’m talking about. Let’s check this out. When we have these inside thigh muscles, right? There’s essentially five or six motors kind of highlight a few of them here as they turn just the orange 123. There’s one back here four. And there’s another one in here five. Because if we start to see like, wait a minute, like how can the inside thigh cause externally rotated feet? Well, let’s fade all the other muscles around this particular muscle here, you see that there’s actually massive muscles and it’s just in this kind of orange color that really dive in deep inside the hip. Now they start at the base of the hip, and they connect relatively to the femur. Now let’s isolate this thing out. And let’s realize see what what’s going on here. So this is the Magnus the biggest abductor that that we have. And I was zoomed in here. This is the pelvis, the half of the of the pelvis and essentially attaches to the base and the outside of this half. But here’s the crazy part, look where it attaches to, as they spin around, spin around, spin around spin around. It attaches to the back side or the post your side of the femur bone.

Interesting, right? It doesn’t attach to the inside. Yes, it does attach here, but for the most part, most of these adductors attached to the posterior the backside of the femur will because it touched the backside of the femur and they have striations or, or lines that connect it to the medial part of the pelvis. What happens about take these fibers and pull on them? Where would this femur go? Yes, the femur would go medial without a question. But that’s the only in the frontal plane. What would it do in the transverse plane? This if I grabbed here and took these fibers and pull them this would externally rotate the femur? No questions asked on that one because it has a posterior attachment not a medial attachment. If I pull these fibers, it Yes, it will certainly go through an abduction phase but it also go through an external rotation phase as well. Now I’m just showing this to you with this one muscle there are many more Do the same thing. But they are not as all as big and powerful as the adductor Magnus. So that’s a really powerful statement that I wanted to show you all, as we consider what how the adductors can be massive external rotators of the femur. So that’s pretty crazy to see how have those inside the muscles, when they get to bound down, they actually perform a very powerfully to externally rotate through the femur. So if I’m going to go through a walking pattern, I’m not going to get much hip rotation. In fact, I’m going to want to basically splay out or take my leg and open up as I go through any sort of walking pattern. So what do we do about that? Well, we’re going to use the same methodology that we use before, let’s loosen up the fascia, let’s go through a stretching mechanism that promotes the femur going through internal rotation. So I’m going to take this ball, this is one way to do it, you can sort of lay on the ground and start to explore that inside thighs or to say, wait a minute, where do I feel that tension being bound down there, because there’s essentially five muscles in there and maybe six layered on each other, you’re basically going to be hitting relatively all of them all at once. So it really just let your, your kind of field guide where you want that ball or that soft tissue to go, because it’s going to be anywhere from the knee, all the way to inside of the groin. And any one of those basically, can affect what I just spoke about. So after you’ve gone through that, that soft tissue process, you got to think about, okay, wait a minute, I want to stretch these muscles in a way that is effective as as if I’m walking. So simply me just throwing your leg up onto something and just bending laterally, though, we’ll certainly engage these muscles and stretch them out. That’s not essentially how they’re being addressed. Because they are basically when you stretch them out how they would be with through walking. So what I would recommend doing is to go to twist split stance, again, I’d like to grab on to anything that gives me some stability. And then that split stance, I want to essentially not have the foot go through external rotation or external rotation, so I’m going to go through a little bit of internal rotation through my feet, then from there, I can pull them in in the most dominant plane that they control, which is the frontal plane. So I’m going to focus on my back leg here, as I slide the opposite direction. So now I’ve engaged in the frontal plane by allowing my hips to go through more AB reduction, because it lengthens in the in the frontal plane through a reduction. But from there, I’m actually going to start to spin my hips. So as I start to spin my hips, I start to feel that, that transverse plane control and start to stretch out, as my doctor say, Ooh, that’s where I really need that help. And again, I’m in a good stable point here, I have many points of contact, to allow that flexibility to start to move to it. And the most powerful thing about this one is I take my hip and I start to spin into my femur. So I’m actually getting to go to internal rotation in my app, my hip joint actually feel the stretch, stronger, I feel that stretch go through a stronger pattern. In fact, my inside thighs, if I start to go so far, you realize I’m actually have run out of flexibility in my inside thigh. And guess what, it starts to get extra. Because I’ve gone through all the mobility that my insight AI has already given me. And again, it’s another powerful indicator of saying, Wow, the inside guys definitely have a strong sense of creating external rotation through my foot via my femur, because of being too too tight. And again, I can do the same thing here, as I start to basically pull my femur and a more rotation because I’m gonna get some good stretching there, and good stretching there. Now, even though this is not the best way to stretch this adductor, if it is way bound down, you may actually feel it in the front leg as well. But just as a little disclaimer, I certainly put the leg behind you, as you’re gonna get the greater stretch through that point. Now we’re gonna go to the last muscle here that people really don’t think about. Most practitioners don’t think about this one. Because it’s kind of its real sneaky one, but it really has, again, a very powerful effect on external rotation of the leg and how it affects and shows up in the foot. And this last one is the hip flexors. And you may have seen the hip flexors, like the adductors. That seemed a little crazy, but I definitely follow along. How does the hip flexors do it will essentially follow the same patterning that I spoke about with the adductors because the hip flexors are very powerful muscles and not just hip flexion, but also in hip rotation. They also have a factor. Now let me show you what I’m talking about. So if you look at the hip flexor it lives right in this space right here and there’s two of them. So I’m going to show you To the big bad one, basically the so as major, I’m going to fade everything else around it, you can see how it attaches here on the lumbar spine, even all the way up to t 12. And attaches here in the front part of or it goes across the front part of the pelvis and attaches into the femur. Let’s isolate that out. And let’s see what’s going on here. So as you can see, his hip flexor, dives in, cross off the vertebra and into the, into the femur. But again, look where it attaches that sneaky thing and attaches to the posterior and medial aspect of the femur. So, wow, knowing that now, what happens if this gets shortened? Well, of course, it’s definitely going to bring the hip into flexion. But it’s also in the transverse plane going to externally rotate is going to bring that that that lesser trochanter out and in front of the body, relatively speaking, and that is going is going to cause you can see it through this vantage point or here, it’s going to cause that external rotation in the transverse plane. So with understanding that now and realizing that muscles aren’t just pure, plain organisms, right, they, they really have oblique type patterns, you can see that why stretching and just one plane of motion doesn’t get the results that you can think like, Oh, my hip flexors are very, very loose. Yeah, they may be but again, every single muscle fiber in that muscle has a job to do even though they’re the relatively kind of combined in certain ways. If you get enough of a percentage, that really tech can’t have that spiraling effect. And it’s tight in that spiral, then you’re going to realize, like, wait a minute, I’m going to have to start to open up. And you can see this a lot when people run. And you should get that big ol big ol whip, as they run through that big ol hoop lay kind of just takes a big ol path around. It’s happening as they’re going through flexion. Why? Well, maybe because they can’t actually have enough access to internal rotation on push off, putting the foot into greater soup supination or their or their sense, I’m way, way going overboard here to kind of demonstrate that they don’t have enough of that supination or essentially that heel out ability to push off. Because they can’t access intern or that that rotational flexibility at the hip. They need to create that whip somehow. So they create it through a much more gross pattern. So how do you go about that? What can you do about fixing this tight external rotation hip flexor in the transverse plane, causing that external spin? Well, again, soft tissue work is a great way to start, find yourself a ball, something definitely is kind of smaller. And I want you to find the front hip bone. It’s the front little spot right here.

Now my belly buttons here, my front hips here, once you put that ball on the hip bone, and I want you to see that Be that as a landmark. Now I have a different tool here to kind of see what I’m talking about. This front hip bone is right there. I want you to put the ball right there as a landmark, you’re not going to foam roll there. But that’s where you’re going to start. And then as you lay down on the ground, you’re going to put the ball and let the ball roll just inside, and it’s going to start to hit the belly of the beast. You don’t want to necessarily roll down on the hip because there’s not too much muscle there. You actually want to go from the front part of the hip bone, we call that the as is right there. And we’re gonna get into that. And from there, you’re gonna get into some sweet, love that hip flexor, get my hand at a wave arm out of the waist can see it. It feels like you’re rolling on your stomach, well, you’re certainly rolling on your abdomen, even though your stomach is on the opposite side. But in your case, you’re in that zone and you’re pushing and who that is some love right there. We want to follow the same patterns that we did before with everything that I’ve just ever everything that I’ve described. And then how do you stretch that out? Well, again, I like to grab on to somebody that has support, I want to get myself into an upright stance, toe in, that’s the huge piece, internal rotation of the femur of the knee of the tibia and fib supination of the foot lengthens the hip flexor in the transverse plane. Now go through that sagittal plane drive that extension through the thoracic spine. crazy, awesome stretch. From there, you can play with it and make that drive and make that kind of play just really elongate as much as you possibly can. Taking your spine through opposite side or from the my back leg, tilt to the upside and spin the upside. I just shot right up. It’s like I can feel it attaching into my lumbar spine. It’s a nasty awesome, great stretch and in a positive way. And once you think about that one has how to fix and allow your body to push through the foot versus whip on outside of the foot. Now one of the biggest things that I want you to be able to take away from this Video is that muscles by themselves don’t necessarily cause dysfunction. We have to look at the neuro muscular skeletal system as a whole, though we can foam roll and myofascial release tension, the question we need to be asking ourselves and even our practitioners is what was it when it comes to addressing dysfunctions like duck feet and even other movement related pains is really getting deep enough to get to the root of the problem, so the pain doesn’t just pop up again. Now, if you’re honestly totally geeking, out of the idea of problem solving to find the root cause of mood, pain and dysfunction, then I want to encourage you to find and check out the multi dimensional movement coaching program. It’s called MDMC for short. And it’s actually linked in the description below. Because in this program, we teach you the fundamental principles of movement, as well as strategies for how to identify and to address pain and dysfunction when they come up in your training sessions. Plus, you’re gonna need to join a community of trainers who also love to geek out about movement and even body. So again, click on the link in the description below to hop on a call with me or someone on my team to get started. Lastly, if you enjoyed this video and want to keep digesting content just like this, hit that like and that’s and that subscribe button and check out the video right over here for the next one. And again, we’re going to keep on throwing some stuff at you. See you next time. Cheers.

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