“The main function of the little toe on your foot is to make sure that all the furniture in the house is in place.” - Anon.
FOOT FUNCTION & EXERCISE
The foot naturally shock absorbs when walking so the alignment of the foot and ankle in standing exercises is very important. The feet and all of the 33 joints within the foot will ideally adapt as you shift your weight through the feet. When performing standing exercises the weight should be evenly distributed through the foot and the ankle is in a dorsiflexed position. This allows for less compression in the knees, hip and also provides good pelvis alignment. When the knees are hyperextended (or locked out), the position of the ankles and the weight distribution through the feet changes. This is a common imbalance and left unaddressed can lead to excess wear and tear on the knees, pelvic instability and poor shock absorption.
Imbalances in foot function can come from stiff joints, foot pathologies, injuries or from imbalances higher up the skeleton. Walking barefoot is great therapy for the feet and on different textured surfaces gives feet the chance to function fully. This in turn strengthens the small muscles, increases proprioception, adaptability and function.
BAREFOOT SHOES AND TOE SOCKS
Exercising barefoot or in minimalist shoes that imitate being barefoot, keeps the feet engaged, active and provides minimal protection. These shoes have thin, flexible soles, for a small amount of shock absorption, which gives your feet the opportunity to do the rest of the work.
Toe socks provide another alternative that can be worn in during exercise. They support healthy foot function by keeping feet warm and dry whilst separating the toes. These often work for Yoga and Pilates classes.
BALANCE, POSTURE & HEALTHLY FEET
Find out more about your balance, posture and the health of your feet in our 2 hour workshop. The course looks at common foot conditions and injuries, how to care for your feet, exercises and MELTing for feet and whole body health.