On twitter (follow me @brianmccormick), I saw a tweet to a video of Maya Moore working out near her home in Atlanta. I am a big fan of Moore and wrote that I think she could play low DI men’s basketball right now.
As I watched the video, my eye was drawn to her right knee. On most of her shots, her right knee caves in (valgus). When I write about ACL injury prevention and proper body alignment, I often receive questions about what deficiencies or problems look like. Here is an example or valgus overload or a knee caving in. Valgus overload generally increases a player’s risk for an ACL injury, which surprised me, as Moore is a phenomenal athlete with great strength.
However, as mentioned in this article, there are several reasons for a valgus overload:
- Hip tightness (adductors and IT Band)
- Hip weakness (gluteus medius)
- Foot pronation (flatter or collapsing arch)
- Pain (which leads to compensation)
- Improper muscle firing patterns
Without evaluating her, it is hard to say whether the valgus overload is due to one of these factors or is a skill habit that she has developed. I know some players who turn their foot and knee slightly as a breaking mechanism rather than sitting their hips low to decelerate.