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How does foot issues affect total body movement?-->, FF Insider#104
August 10, 2011
Welcome Back,

Please enjoy another issue packed with evidence-based information about sports performance training and news about current events at Finish First Sports Performance. If you find value in this e-newsletter, please forward this message to your teammates, coaches, or other parents of hard working athletes.

Finish First Sports Performance is the official training/performance coaching provider for the Youngstown Phantoms USHL Hockey Team, the Robert Morris Univeristy NCAA Division 1 Men's Ice Hockey Team, and the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship Organization.

Inside this Issue:

To bring you the very best information, this newsletter focuses on awareness of the training principles for young athletes, and how to use them to make sure your coach is on the right track. Enjoy!

1. Performance: Understanding Kinetic Chain Dysfunction

2. Performance II: Training through Pain: Overcoming Injuries through Creative Exercise Programming

3. Special Announcements

4. Motivational/Inspirational Quote

5. Thank You


Understanding Kinetic Chain Dysfunction

By Jeremy S. Hoy,MS, CSCS, NASM, NASE, Performance Scientist

Recently, I wrote an article explaining specifically how a condition such as left foot hallux valgus (left big toe points to the outside of the foot) can affect the entire kinetic chain and movement, which includes the joints, nerves, and muscles from the foot up to the neck and head.

Kinetic Chain Dysfunction

I am going to share that article with you, but want you to look past the specific issue being described and apply this more globally to the body. The body is wired to find a way to execute movement, regardless of whether it is correct or faulty. Imbalances and dysfunctions force the brain to alter normal movement patterns (mechanics) in order to fully execute the movement. For example, in the article below, the condition of hallux valgus does not prevent a person from walking, running, jumping, etc., but due to the associated compensatory movements, altered muscle lengths, and force-coupling relationships, the movements may not be as efficient, as fast, explosive, etc. as normal, and they may result in pain or dysfunction elsewhere in the body.

Total Body Integration

This supports the fact that the kinetic chain is INTEGRATED and that dysfunction in the foot affects the knees, hips, low back, spine, arms, shoulders, etc. That is why it is so important to not only evaluate each athlete for underlying issues, but also to address these through sound programming, proper flexibility training, and some may need specific corrective exercises.

Again, the take home message here is that weight distribution, muscle length (or tightness), joint positioning, neural innervations, inhibition, weakness, etc. in the foot, ankle, or knee affects the kinetic chain above that location. The body will compensate to make movements happen, but these compensatory movements do not address the underlying issue, and may result in more issues over time. It is important to find the issue and address it.

The article:

Hallux Valgus

A distal segment with poor muscular integration [left foot hallux valgus] can result in the dysfunction or impairment of the lumbo-pelvic-hip complex, the cervical spine, or even resulting in shoulder or elbow pain.

Hallux valgus is a deformity of lateral deviation of the first toe. A person with hallux valgus changes the way they displace weight in standing posture, and gait. These individuals avoid placing weight over the hallux and medial foot, and instead place a greater proportion of the load on the lateral portion (supination) of the foot, and also the posterior portion of the foot.

These changes in normal weight bearing movements affects the entire kinetic chain, from the ankle, knee, hip, and spine to the upper extremities.

HV creates weak hip lateral rotators as a result of excessive hip medial rotation. This affects the normal length-tension relationships of the lateral subsystem and the anterior oblique syb-system (gluteus medius, abductors/adductors, and tfl). The deep longitudinal subsystem is also affected because the biceps femoris becomes the dominant synergist in push-off phase of gait. This also affects the erector spinae and sacrotuberous ligament in stabilization of the SI Joint. The posterior oblique sub-system is also affected in creating stability of the SI Joint during gait (gluteus max, latissimus dorsi, thoracolumbar fascia). Overactive SI Joint stabilizers (affected synergistic and force-couple relationships between the deep longitudinal subsystem and the posterior oblique subsystem) may result in fatigue and directly affect neuromuscular control resulting in less stability during gait and movement.

Changes in gait due to changes in load placement on the foot may result in excessive lumbar lordosis (underactive glute max, tight, strong hip flexors to compensate for ROM of gait), excessive thoracic kyphosis or head forward position due to compensation to allow for upright eye positioning and posture/balance around an altered center of mass. Due to the nature of the body finding ways to move and to balance regardless of the dysfunction, several compensatory postural “shifts” may occur. Anterior head positioning may result in cervical or thoracic compression or mis-alignment, which may impinge the neural innervations of the shoulders, arms, elbow, and/or hands. These impingements may cause pain and affect neuromuscular control.

There are many possibilities for integrated dysfunction in the body, especially when the underlying problem begins from the ground up. All sub-systems are affected with altered synergistic dominance, force-couple relationships, length-tension relationships, and neuromuscular control.

For more information on integrated kinetic chain evaluations and performance screening, please call Jeremy at 412-787-5070.

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Performance II:

Training through Pain: Overcoming Injuries through Creative Exercise Programming

By Brandon Monin, MS, CSCS, TPI CGFI, Performance Scientist

For the last month I have worked with an athlete that has Stage IV Arthritis in the knee. Stage IV Arthritis is the degeneration of the cartilage in the knee caused by wear and tear or a problem with the immune system. Because the cartilage provides protection and cushioning for the bones in the joint, arthritic joints may be stiff and painful. Arthritis is commonly graded based upon the amount of cartilage that has been lost.

The athlete has gone through a lot of physical therapy and has had many injections that have not seemed to show any improvement with her condition. Over the last month I have tried a plethora of exercises to try and strengthen the quads to help support her injured knee and provide stability to the joint. Through trial and error I have narrowed down several exercises that she can do without pain. The exercises are all done with a partial range of motion but allow for enough muscle activation in the quads to see strength improvements. She can now exercise without her knee brace and get good hard workouts in to meet her personal goals and needs.

Strength and conditioning coaches have to work around injuries on a daily basis.

If you have a similar injury or one that is preventing you from reaching your goals feel free to email me I would like to discuss the various things you can do to help you with your training. Remember an injury does not mean that your training has to stop, it simply means you have to work around it.

Novelty Golf Balls Now Available From!


  • The gym hours will be changing beginning Monday, August 15, 2011, to accommodate the morning college hockey workouts. The new hours will be as follows. Restricted usage workouts will be in the morning through 1pm. Normal gym hours will be 1pm through 8pm, Monday - Thursday, 1pm - 7pm, Friday, and 9am - noon Saturdays. Hours will change again beginning September 1, 2011, once we have the complete schedule for all of our college teams and local hockey teams.
  • Congrats to Finish First athlete Christian Hanson for signing with the Washington Capitals for the upcoming season. We look forward to continuing to prepare you for your new home.
  • Congrats to Ty Loney for signing with the University of Denver hockey team beginning this fall. Keep up the hard work!
  • The NHL Style Elite Hockey Camp took place last week, August 1 - 5, and it was a huge success. The camp went very well for its inaugural year, and we look forward to continuing to grow it in the future. Thanks to all the sponsors and participants in the camp. Special thanks to Jay Caufield, Rick Tocchet, Marianne Watkins, Heather Mangieri and the RMU Island Sports Center staff for making it a great event. Also special thanks to the Pittsburgh Post Gazette for writing an excellent article about the camp. We will keep you posted as we work out details about next year's camp.
  • Hot Item!...Get your Finish First Sports Performance apparel with the new hockey available dry-fit performance shirts at our store Online Store.
  • We have finally (after about 2 years) found a company to make our trademark logo New Era hats and have an order on the way to the world training headquarters in Robinson as we write this. If you do not have one of these fashionable hats and want want, stop by the gym and pick one up--but hurry, we have a limited stock--if you can't make it to the gym, these should be available online in the next 2 weeks!
  • Finish First Sports Performance is still making progress on the new World-Class training facility...we are hoping to move forward soon, which would allow us to give you drawings and details in the next few weeks.

Motivational Quote

"They can because they think they can."
-- Virgil

Thank You for Your Support

Thanks again for subscribing to this free e-newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy writing it. I look forward to your feedback as I continue to research to bring you the most current scientific training information available.

Should you have any specific article requests or questions, email me at Please visit for detailed sports performance training information and programs offered exclusively by Finish First Sports Performance.

Yours In Training,

Coach Jeremy S. Hoy, MS, CSCS, PES, USAW, Jump Stretch, Inc. Certified,
Elite Performance Scientist

Finish First Sports Performance

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