This is one of the first things that every Parisi Coach and Parisi athlete learns upon entering the Parisi Speed School program. Ironically, when you ask athletes how their foot should hit the ground, they all say “Land on the toes!” We’re here to tell you, that’s wrong. We want athletes landing on the balls of their feet. When they land on the balls of the feet, their toes come up. However, it is important to note that through the running stride, the toes are not always up, but we want that mental cue for greater speed.
What is the Toes Up Position?
The toes up position refer to dorsiflexion of the ankle. As youth athletes execute a toes-up position consistently they will be able to apply force faster off the ground. The toes up position also help to trigger the triple flexion response of the ankle, knee, and hip. This will assist in faster and more efficient leg recovery and allows the stored elastic energy in the calf complex to be harnessed. This will ultimately increase athlete speed. Exercises like low pogos require dorsiflexed ankles and are a great way to teach and feel ground reaction forces.