What’s your opinion on how to attack a “pigeon toe” gait? I have an athlete who destroys the FMS, but when he goes in to more dynamic tasks (SL triple jump especially), he exhibits a pretty severe hip internal rotation position. We’ve really hammered glute strength, but I haven’t seen much improvement on the jumping and landing positions. He is also one of the best jumpers on our team (approach vert of 35 inches with a 6’11” wingspan). Any suggestions?
This message came from one of my new colleagues, Nate Brookerson @ Eastern Washington University. This is exactly a very exciting question because it demonstrates/redefines the basic nature of the FMS. It seems to be confusing that the FMS comes out with a high score, but there is still biomechanical dysfunction in tasks of bigger intensity.
A pet pieve of mine is when folks say the FMS isn’t this, or it’s not that, and they might use an situation like Nate’s here as their evidence. How good is the FMS when this person’s knee still buckles when he hops? Well, I think the FMS worked perfectly in terms of identifying R/L asymmetries and major problems. It doesn’t mean awesome or monster or bulletproof. It screens only for fundamental movement and uses that as the foundation for the Functional Performance Pyramid.
So this individual has a large bottom of the pyramid, but he has an even larger middle of the pyramid. The Triple Hop movement is not a fundamental movement test, but a performance test. The FMS does not screen for performance. If this young man has a 35″ vert, his engine is too powerful for the frame of the car, even though the frame is pretty good.
The beauty of the Functional Movement system is that the fix for fundamental movement and/or performance dysfunction is still the same. If we are looking at single-leg issues, I would go to Chop/Lift series or even regressions with things like KB Halos or manual resistance in the half-kneeling position. I would focus on getting the front foot in line with the back knee to create a truly authentic 1-leg stance through the knee. Without the “kickstand” of the front leg and without the compliance of the foot, we can truly train single-leg stance and challenge the core with upper body patterns.
I would also consider what I call Qualifying for the Chop & Lift before assuming any dynamic shoulder pattern in the half-kneeling position. This technique, which involves manual isometrics in the overhead and diagonal positions, primes the pump, if you will, for the core in the position you are training.
All of these techniques are all things I have learned from Gray, and they will be on my DVD when it comes out this summer.