Home Blog Static Posture Assessment Mistakes: Part 3

Static Posture Assessment Mistakes: Part 3

Written on April 1, 2009 at 11:22 am, by Eric Cressey

The positioning of the feet in a static posture assessment can tell you a lot, but simply looking without following up won’t give you a definitive answer.  The most common postural distortion you’ll see is an externally rotated foot position.


It’s common to assume that this is simply a case of an athlete with hips that are stuck in external rotation.  And, in many cases, this is definitely the culprit.  For these athletes, a hearty dose of knee-to-knee stretches will do the trick (along with some stretches for the hip external rotators in a position of hip extension).


For other athletes, though, this foot position is simply a compensation, as athletes will turn the feet out to compensate for a lack of dorsiflexion (toe-to-shin) range-of-motion.  These athletes need to work hard to improve ankle mobility with a combination of lower-extremity soft tissue work and mobility drills.

For more information on postural assessment strategies, check out the Building the Efficient Athlete DVD set.


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3 Responses to “Static Posture Assessment Mistakes: Part 3”

  1. Mark Young Says:

    Good point Eric!

    Just to add (if I may), I like to start at the hips and work down. In most (almost all) cases, I’ve found that the glutes are tight and/or a limited range of dorsiflexion.

    However, when addressing the hips I like to do Craig’s Test as a quick and dirty way of determining whether there is a structural problem at the hip causing the outward rotation (i.e., hip retroversion). If the hip joint itself is causing lateral rotation no amount of stretching will fix this and it only takes a few seconds to test.

    This obviously applies for internal rotation of the femur as well.


  2. Kevin F Says:

    can you give explain how to do “hip external rotator stretching in a position of hip extension” (as you mentioned in this blog post). I just can’t picture what you mean by that?

    Kevin F

  3. Bob Dannegger Says:

    Mark, you made an important point about hip retroversion. I’m a long distance runner and 6 years ago I read an article from Active.com where a Dr. made the comment that George Bush ran like a duck. I had the same problem and (among others) and contacted the Dr. and we had a phone conversation during which he convinced me I should straighten it out. I tried various stretching etc. and started consciously trying to internally rotate my feet, especially my left foot which was a bit worse (a long story) while I ran.

    Some time after that I developed peroneal tendinitis which I have had on and off ever since. I went to a PT for the problem last summer and she said that I had, if I recall correctly, 12-15 degrees of retroversion in both hips. She did say that because I also had tight hip rotators that I might be able to lesson the external rotation a bit if I spent a lot of time stretching every day for months, but that my feet would never be straight.

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