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How are your Feet?

HOW ARE YOUR FEET?

I’ll be honest, I have terrible feet. Call it genetics, call it poor biomechanical adaptation during my youth, but I have some jacked up feet. To break it down, I have what they call a pez cavus foot (higher than normal arch), combined with a forefoot equinas, which means my forefoot drops lower than my rear foot. Basically, my foot looks something like this:

So, that being the case, I’ve had to really work a lot harder than most individuals on soft tissue work, dynamic mobility, and strengthening the muscles that run through the foot, working on balance and mobility as well, and have picked up a lot of great strategies to get the job done along the way. And, today, I’ve decided to dedicate a blog post to explaining some of those tactics so that you can try on your own. We’ll go over part 1 today, and finish up with part 2 next time.

So, let’s say that your feet look like the foot on the right:

And that you walk with your feet “toed out”, living in pronation and cannot get out of it.

Here’s how I would break down reestablishing a healthy, stable yet mobile foot:

1) Soft tissue work:

Bottom line, you gotta start with the basics, and for most people, soft tissue work is something that they haven’t even thought about doing to help out their condition. Areas to focus on: all around the lower leg…Peroneals, Soleus, Gastroc, and even Tibialis Anterior. In addition, I strongly advise rolling the bottom of your foot around on a golf ball, feeling the whole area out for any tender spots, and giving extra attention to those areas. Caution: It might be a lot more tender than you think. Here are a couple videos to take a peak at:

SMR Lower Leg with Baseball:

SMR Tibialis Anterior with PVC Pipe:

SMR Peroneals with PVC Pipe:

2) Stretching/Mobility:

Mobility is important in the foot, because if you cannot bring your foot through the range of motion it is biomechanically designed to do, you will develop compensatory movement patterns that could very easily lead to knee, hip, or even back pain. So, to start off, here are some great exercises you can do to improve foot/ankle mobility:

So, to recap, work out soft tissue restrictions, work on your stretching and mobility, and you then have unleashed the potential for you to reestablish proper balance in your foot.  The next steps include local strength work and then integrating it in with the rest of the body, but we’ll save that for next time.

It all starts with the feet, folks. If your feet are strong, it will set up the platform for your ankles to be strong, your knees to be strong, hips, back, etc. The body moves as a kinetic chain… train like it!

Peace!

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