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Start With a Strong Foundation

anatomy Mar 30, 2018
 

Success begins with a strong foundation. This is true in business, in relationships and in health and fitness. Your feet are your foundation for a strong, aligned, and integrous physique. With 26 bones and more than 30 joints in each foot, the feet contain a quarter of all the bones in the human body!

Surprisingly, many fitness enthusiasts take their foundation for granted and wind up paying a large price in the long run with multiple injuries higher up the kinetic chain.

Your feet have the dual purpose of weight bearing & propulsion.
In addition to the multiple bones of the foot, an amazing network of connective tissues (tendons, ligaments, fascia) allow for that “spring in your step” with the construction the foot arches. The arches of your feet are critical to shock absorption & transmission of force during walking and running.

Take a moment to notice how you stand and how you walk.  Notice how subtle changes in where you carry the weight in your feet affects your knee, pelvic and spinal alignment.


Our bodies are connected from toe to head, without interruption, through the deep fascia. Misalignment in one part of the body creates a domino effect along the entire kinetic chain. A closer look at the arches of the feet and the muscles that support these arches can help shed some light on proper “foot posture”.

Here are a couple of quick exercises to help you find the muscles of your feet and lower legs and begin your path to a stronger more stable foundation:

Find your arches: in a standing or seated position align your feet in a parallel position. Visualize the arches of the foot as you ground down through the ball of the foot (big toe & pinky toe side) and the outer edges of your heel. Stay grounded and begin to lift up through the center of your foot (a suction cup-like action). Make sure your toes do not scrunch up as you do this.

Strengthen the intrinsic muscles: place marbles or rolled up pieces of paper near the outer edge of your pinky toe. Keeping your heel on the floor, dorsiflex and evert your ankle so you can pick up one marble with your toes, move the marble over to the inner edge of your foot by dorsiflexing and inverting your ankle. Repeat with all of the marbles and then reverse the motion to bring them back to their starting position.

Ankle range of motion: Your ankle joint can move in four distinct ways. Start by simply moving your ankle in its full range of motion. Then add resistance with your hand or a with a resistance band to strengthen and  stretch all the muscles of your lower leg.

For more head into the store and take a look a Module 1 - Feet through Knees!

Enjoy!

 

 

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