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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Big toe mobility matters for runners

🦶 Big toe mobility matters for runners! 🏃‍♀️

Sufficient movement at the big toe joint is important for both running & walking🚶🏼‍♀️ Why does it matter & how can you measure it?

🙋🏼‍♀️Why does it matter?

A lack of big toe mobility can lead to an inefficient toe-off &/or a shortened stride. During the final phase of your stride, the big toe extension activates the windlass mechanism, which creates a solid lever for a powerful "High gear push off." Lack of mobility may result in an inefficient "low gear push off," which can lead to pain under the other toes or on the outside of the foot & ankle.

🔑The highest demand for big toe extension during walking & running is at toe-off. Walking actually requires GREATER big toe extension than slow running, but as speed & stride length increase it also increases the demand on this range.

🔎How can you test your big toe mobility? Sit down, place your foot flat on the ground, and bring your knee level with your toes. Pull your big toe upwards & measure the angle (you can use a level app on your phone). Ideally, we want to see upwards of 30 degrees, but 50 degrees is optimal.

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