……….question from an MLS Head Strength Coach
In regards to using RNT with re-patterning the lunge, step-up or SLDL,……what I see is pull[ing]a [knee] medially and anteriorly – in hopes to overemphasize valgus and address medial cave.
But what about the other way? [Can] you….make a case to do the opposite and pull someone into varus? I [have heard] Gray Cook comment that he couldn’t think of a reason why they would or they don’t have a reason that wouldn’t be addressed by using RNT with medial pull so I have to defer to their expertise but, for me, I am just curious.
……I’ve played with pulling them laterally as opposed to medially to overemphasize their tendency for varus. Could it potentially have something to do with most guys having tight external rotators and this is overemphasizing external rotation at the hip……?
So with the RNT, think of it as a principle that if a joint is tracking in an aberrant pattern, AND they have the mobility to achieve the desired position, using a graded force towards the direction of error may yield a reflexive contraction to centrate the joint(s) desirably.
That is how I reconcile it in my mind. However, this link which is, as I understand it, the first time RNT was published by Dr. Mike Voight and Gray in There’s actually a third edition now available of Musculoskeletal Interventions.
As with many pieces to the Functional Movement System, the realities and backdrops are ignored or accepted as gospel from weak resources, imagine the thousands of individuals that use Gray Cook Bands for RNT but have never read this chapter, much less even know it exists.
So in essence, RNT can be with any tool or position and in any direction. Adding a heel lift or adding big wheels to your barbell training may be an RNT just as much pulling a knee valgus to prevent valgus collapse. The last thing you should consider is that the RNT choice that “works” is because of any particular muscle group or action. There is no way to prove any of this, and often times the kinesiology answer is assumed but not the real fix. You might have had an intent, but please do not assume that glute medius or minimus was weak if the valgus collapse worked. Weakness is very different from the timing and regulation of function in any given pattern. You are really unlimited by your creativity or results in getting an RNT to be useful for you.
In your case, if you are seeing lateral pulling work better, I believe you. I believe you see a better pattern visually. But I’d ask you to tread lightly. It may not be wrong, but it may not be what you’re looking for.
In these cases, if the knee buckles in, and you pull it out, and it appears to be ideal tracking, maybe it is because you are jamming the femoral head against the acetabulum, and they can “lean” on this passive bony restraint. The mechanics will look good, but they will be taking the band, leaning on the band, rather than learning from the band. Keep this in mind.
Try losing the band and see if they own the movement. If they fall right away towards the stance side, then the above is happening.
Remember that the purpose of the RNT is to learn to the point where you don’t need the RNT anymore.
But clearly if they are improving without the RNT, then you did it right. The “IF” is far, far more important than the “HOW” or the “WHY.”