The foot is the base of our body, which means it is essentially the base for everything that we do. A weak and immobile foot structure can contribute to pain nearly anywhere in the body, not just the foot, and can cause a loss of power and speed with performance. It can literally make or break you!
The foot consists of 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, 10 tendons, and 107 ligaments, and yet when it comes to training and getting our bodies to work better, the feet are often neglected.
You consistently train all the other areas in the body that have far fewer structures involved, but don’t do anything about the most complex area of the body AND the area of the body that literally holds you up.
Why is that? Perhaps it is because when you search how to get stronger and faster on the internet, rarely do people talk about the feet. Or maybe it is because you live and train in foot coffins (aka shoes) and/or foot casts (aka orthotics) and therefore don’t think that learning to control the foot matters.
Or perhaps it is because the base-ics aren’t so basic. When I look around and watch the physical therapists, chiropractors, and coaches around me, most stick to the same 3-4 exercises for the foot…not to mention the foot is only looked at by these clinicians and coaches IF the foot or ankle area is painful. If there is no pain in the area, it is rarely assessed.
The foot and the hand are anatomically very similar. Therefore, the foot could be just as functional as your hands. (For real! Ever see the people born without hands or arms use their feet instead to do everything? It’s possible!) The problem is we don’t use them to their full potential. I’m not saying you have to make them fully functional like the person in the example, but I am saying it is advised to make them more functional then they are.
How do you do this?
For starters, let your feet be free and move. Stop wearing shoes so often and let yourself be barefoot. Shoes don’t let your foot work like it is meant to and also make everything in your foot tighten and stiffen up. Along with being barefoot, pick up some toe spreaders and start wearing them daily. When the muscles between the toes are shortened due to being stuck in shoes, they can’t function. Wearing toe spreaders can let the muscles stretch, allowing the muscles to regain some function automatically.
From there, learn how to control your arch and your toes. The more control you have over the simple movements of the foot, the more control you will have over your entire body.
To progress from there, start training barefoot – squat and deadlift without shoes, run barefoot in the grass – and learn to feel what it’s like to actually use your foot for tasks rather than letting your shoe control you. Also add in single leg tasks to your routine. The more you challenge your foot to work and your body to do things on a single leg, the more strength, power, and control your entire body will display.
In my opinion, the foot is one of the most important and most neglected parts of the body. The more you work the foot, the less injury prone you will be and the better your performance will have!
There are plenty of ways to continue progressing with your foot and ankles than discussed in this article. If you want to find out more ways to perform better, let’s chat! Simply schedule a free call to discuss your situation and find out the next steps to achieve your goals.
Train Efficiently. Train Effectively. Train With Purpose!
Join me on Facebook:
Follow me on Instagram:
Subscribe to my YouTube channel:
Subscribe to my Podcast