Prone heel to butt test:
Does the runner have the ability to extend through the hip while bending at the knee? That’s what this test is allowing us to see.

As a runner drives through the hip in the push-off phase of running, they need to possess the necessary mobility to do this, without compensating and extending through the low back, which is what we see frequently in this population.

Ankle dorsiflexion test:
What we’re looking at in this test is the ability for someone to absorb force through the foot and ankle.

Without having the necessary dorsiflexion, the ankle will act as a rigid lever and translate forces through the ankle and into the knee and hip, increasing the chances of injury and/or pain in an endurance athlete.

Lateral step down:
You can get a lot of good information from looking at someone’s lateral step down. You’re taking the ankle hip and knee through the excursion of what they’re going to look like when they’re running.

It’s looking at:

  • Ankle mobility
  • Single leg balance
  • Ability to tolerate compressive forces at the Achilles tendon
  • Eccentrically loading the quad and assessing tolerance to patellofemoral compression
  • Tolerance to loading of lateral hip and challenging lumbopelvic hip control all while maintaining an upright position

It gives you so much information and allows you to assess and understand if a runner is meeting the requirements needed for effective and efficient running mechanics.

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