How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion

Wondering where your duck footed walking might be stemming from? For many of you, believe it or not, it’s not coming from you glutes!

Here’s a video that will shed a bit of light on the topic, along with a myofascial release technique to help improve your posture/integration in your movement.

Release intentionally, not habitually,


Transcript: How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion

Hello, this is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns.

For today’s video, I’m going to show you a myofascial release technique to help address a duck walk.

To be more scientific, addressing an external tibial torsion.

Now, in videos past, I’ve discussed the implications of gluteal muscles activating to externally rotate the femurs, to externally rotate the feet.

To almost point the feet outward.

But that problem was that essentially what I started finding is that, by making people aware of this, and telling them yeah you know, you shouldn’t point your feet outward, they started to force their feet straight in.

And essentially, to not get too complicated, what they’ve actually done is they’ve actually over rotated their feet inward (How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion).

And then from there, what they almost did is created another imbalance.

Where the feet were still pointing outward, not necessarily because of the glute muscles, but more so because of the muscles that are firing to externally rotate at the tibia.

So if you’re a person that does suffer from an internal rotation of the knee, where the knee kind of does come inward, it’s quite likely that if your feet are still pointing outward, it’s not happening at the hip joint – How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion.

It’s actually happening directly at the knee joint, where the tibia does rotate outward.

And so today what I’m going to show you guys is a direct trigger point that you will want to hit in order to alleviate that external tibial torsion, and enable you to point that foot straight forward.

So essentially what I want you to do first, is I’m going to have you, we’re going to be using a chair.

I want you to have a seat. And I want you to just take one of your hands and I want you to bring it underneath the lateral part just behind your knee.

So we’re going to go a little bit to the outside here.

And I want you to kind of just strum back and forth as you’re there until you kind of feel kind of like a guitar string.

Obviously not a guitar string, definitely thicker than that, but you should feel a strand of muscle running in that direction.

Now what I want you to do from there, as your knee is bent, I want you to start rotating your tibia back and forth this way.

You might notice that there’s going to be contracting and relaxing of the tissues right there where you are holding with your left hand.

So in that regard, if I begin to turn it outward is usually when you should feel the contraction happening at that point.

Likely what’s happening if you have an external tibial torsion, the muscles proximal to the knee joint at this point are probably going to be very tight, and it’s quite likely you’re going to have to release them if you want that tibia to straighten out a little bit. (How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion)

So, what we’re going to do is actually use a softball here.

It’s about twice the size of a lacrosse ball. I’m sure you can find all kinds of variations, depending on where you’re at on the planet.

There are different sports everything, so if I’m thinking about getting a ball, it’s going to be about this size.

Maybe twice the size of a lacrosse ball, twice the size of a tennis ball. And all I’m going to do is just bring it directly underneath that point.

And rather than on a normal hamstring, being where we keep the leg completely straight in this fashion, what I want you to do is actually rotate the leg outward in this way, and then begin to apply your pressure.

Then you can slowly begin to go through the process of slight knee extension and flexion.

So we’re not thinking about getting dead center on the hamstring, we’re trying to go a little bit lateral.

Almost like at a posterior 45 degree angle off the inferior portion of the thigh.

So we kind of just move across there.

In terms of doing the myofascial release, sometimes it can be good to move it around ever so slightly, I like to do it in about millimeter increments, maybe even a centimeter increment (How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion).

But typically I like moving it in just small, small increments. Before I used to hold myofascial release trigger points still, but what I’ve been finding is that I just tend to get a better effect when there’s just a small amount of movement.

Not big, not huge ranges of motion, but just tiny.

If you do small incremental things, you’re going to kind of begin to feel some of those distortions probably unravel a little bit faster.

So if it [falls 00:03:51](How to Fix Duck Feet: External Tibial Torsion) in your position, you could actually move up the thigh just a little bit more.

And kind of just go down the spectrum of about halfway down the thigh, all the way down to that lateral portion of the knee.

Now, keep in mind, were going to be hitting into muscles like the biceps femoris, the long and short head of the biceps femoris.

We’re also going to be hitting parts of the posterior side of the vastus lateralis, and those muscles, it’s almost like there’s like a fusion between all those tissues, along with the IT band.

And so really what I’m trying to do is create some sliding of those tissues there, because they are probably all kind of just gunked up right now.

And by you getting in here, you’re going to enable yourself to create that sliding pattern, and have probably a better functioning knee.

So if you are a person that tends to have knee problems, for guys that do jiu jitsu, this is a huge problem.

People who do jiu jitsu oftentimes are stuck in a hip flexion, and that doesn’t promote good gluteal activity.

And if there’s no gluteal activity, that’s usually, in terms of the glute mac, that’s usually when the knees drop inward, into that internal rotation.

And then the tibias will externally rotate as an act of compensation.

So if you are a person that does like jiu jitsu, or any kind of ground work if you’re a wrestler, this is going to be a really good technique for you.

If you are a person that suffers from knee pain, it’s quite likely that this is something that will give you quite an advantage.

Just simply because, especially people who’ve had ACL tears, the most common biomechanical trait that I’ve found with people who have gotten ACL tears is that they do have an excessive external tibial torsion, along with an excessive femoral rotation coming inward.

I do hope that you found this video to be informative.

Pl like it and share it with your friends.

Anything you guys can do to help me out with sharing this information is always appreciated on my end.

This is Naudi Aguilar of Functional Patterns reminding you to live intentionally and not habitually.