Yes, I said it. I train knee valgus. But hear me out before you jump to conclusions. Instead, watch a basketball game. Look at a basketball player grabbing a rebound or taking a shot. If I'm a betting man I say you will see valgus at least 10 times a game. Yes, valgus can be bad, but it doesn't mean it shouldn't be trained to control it.
Let's say you get a referral for a goalie who just had ACL reconstruction. How many of you would say you wouldn't train your goalie for return to sport activities? Well, part of that return to sport is training the goalie to get back to what they do best. Sometimes that means they prefer the "butterfly" position. In case you haven't seen what this looks like, its complete valgus. Yet, this is functional for their position.
So do we train valgus in the basketball athlete and the hockey goalie? In my opinion, we need to help them learn how to control those positions. If the glutes help externally rotate the femur that means it slows down internal rotation. Why not eccentrically train these muscles and also get the athlete into a "safe" position to learn how to control it toward the terminal phase of rehab? if they are going to do it anyway, then we should be helping them control the position to minimize the risk of injury.
Dr. Brian Schwabe, PT, DPT, SCS, COMT, CSCS
Board Certified Sports Physical Therapist
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