How Poor Leg Tracking Leads To Reduced Performance

Aug 25, 2020

Knees sticking out negatively impacts on a number of performance areas for any athlete.

You've probably seen those cyclists who ride with their knees sticking out to the side and athletes who run with their knees out to the side, but did you know that poor leg tracking such as this has a number of negative impacts on an athlete's performance?

Poor leg tracking can be seen when knees point out rather than tracking in line with the hip and foot. Poor leg tracking can also kick in when athletes become more fatigued and their form starts to deteriorate.

Why does this matter?

For cyclists, correct leg alignment is important to a good pedal stroke. While some cyclists will have slight variations, generally your foot, knee and hip should all track inline.

This alignment enables the most effective application of power down through the pedals, puts less strain on the knees and also happens to be more aerodynamic.

So, if someone is pedalling with poor leg alignment, this means they are losing power and putting increased strain on their joints which results in muscle imbalance, aches and pains.

The video at the top of the page goes into this in more detail.

For other athletes like runners and swimmers, the same concept applies.

Pilates for Sports is great to improve an athlete's leg tracking as it:

  • Makes the athlete aware of how they are currently moving
  • Teaches them how their legs should be tracking
  • Focuses on the activation and strengthening of the glutes, hamstrings and inside thighs to deliver balanced muscles around the joints
  • Teaches the athlete how to use all of the key muscles effectively to produce efficient and powerful movement

The result is less fatigue, less pain and greater power output!


Noeleen O'Shea is the co-founder of Pilates for Sports, an online training program designed to improve your core strength, muscle balance and technique so that you can perform better at your sport with less pain, more power.


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