1st MTPJ - The power-centre of the foot
Cycling is a static-foot sport
In a static situation such as cycling and skiing, we have a very different movement that’s required. We are not asking the 1st MTPJ to act as rolling pivot through the sagital plane like when we are walking.
However, we do need it to act as a stable and almost immobile pivot, similar to if it was a supporting pillar at either end of a bridge. Remembering that the primary movement at the forefoot level during cycling is lateral to medial (outside to inside), it’s the eventual contact of the 1st MTPJ that will provide the most amount of power. The longer it takes the 1st MTPJ to find an adequate ground reaction force to work against, means the longer it takes to generate the appropriate amount of power for that individual. Not to mention the additional and therefore unnecessary tracking movements of the joints above it that would be seen as a knock-on effect of the foot’s unnecessary rotation.
The cycling foot under load
Our sport is based on repetition so in the absence of a single traumatic injury like falling from the bike, it’s my opinion that the far majority of the injuries that I see within static sports are the end result of poorly distributed forefoot pressures.
There’s a common goal in our industry that suggests that instead of purely treating the injury itself, we primarily focus on the cause and eliminate this from occurring in the first place. Whether it’s the lateral aspect of your forefoot that’s going numb first before engulfing the whole foot, the inside ankle bone is regularly clashing against your crank or the anterior-lateral aspect of your knee is tracking poorly, by supporting and distributing the pressures evenly across the whole forefoot we ensure that no single aspect is bearing the brunt of each cycling revolution.
Simply put, by activating the medial (inside) column in each foot, we are just putting each individual in the positions they were meant to be in, in the first place.