I have a student whose feet turn in naturally, even though her knees are straight and facing forward. I would like to know how best to help her handle this issue.
Tibial torsion is when the lower leg bone has a spiral twist in it, turning the foot either outward (external tibial torsion) or inward (internal tibial torsion). For either variation, you would need the student to become aware of maintaining equal weight on the pads of her big toe, little toe and heel. It is also important to correctly train her turnout muscles at the hip, so that she doesn’t try to correct her leg alignment simply by pulling the knees out over her toes.
The younger she is, the more she can positively influence (although not completely correct) this genetic and structural challenge, especially in ballet class. Bone responds to the stresses that we place on it, so teaching proper weight placement in the feet is essential.
To your success,
Director, The Body Series
Got a question for Deb? Email email@example.com, and she may answer it in an upcoming web exclusive.