A local minimum is reached when the protein fails to achieve a Pose which achieves a lower energy. Most Recipes at this point will fail. An indication of having reached a local minimum is the protein will feel or appear "stiff" or "rigid" when Nudged . The only way to get out of a local minimum is to first get the ball to a higher energy state, then get it rolling downhill again. How much energy you need to apply to get over the lip of the dip depends on how deep the dip is. The depth is the amount of mojo the protein has. There are many strategies to "escape" a local minimun.