The number one goal during my ACL rehab is getting my leg straight. It’s looking better when lying down, but as soon as I start walking, I’m a bit more bent due to my hamstring muscles seizing and tightening up. So I do my exercises and every time I step, I’m supposed to be consciously pushing through my right leg for extension. If I’m to move on to more physical activities (like dancing, perhaps), that straight leg is required.
I also mention this because this is something I harp on with upper level students. I want to see them pushing out of the floor with their sending foot into their receiving foot. Perhaps, rather than putting the focus on the ball of the foot, maybe I should tell them to focus on their leg muscles. Will that get better results?
The other thought here is that pushing for extension produces better lines. Rather than having both legs bent all the time, I like to have my students push well enough or move more efficiently, so they’re not squatted all the time.
It’s fascinating how my current physical therapy goals align with my teaching values and sheds new light on old subjects.