By Coach Kennedy
I just returned from the LARGEST Fitness Expo of its kind in the WORLD – The 26th annual canfitpro 2019 Fitness Convention and Tradeshow. One thing most of the presenters and delegates had in common…we were on our feet all day, and they were long days. When feet become tired they can become unstable and lead to a host of issues, which brings me to this month’s movement called FOOT FLOW.
These moves could change your life, and I’m going to quickly explain how.
- Foot strength: While there are many day-to-day movements and exercises in the gym (calves raises) that can help strengthen the extrinsic muscles of the foot, in my experience 99% of the population does NOT do any specific exercises to strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the foot. The benefit? A stable foot allows the ankle more freedom to move. Limited ankle dorsiflexion affects all movement.
- Single Leg Balance. With every step you take, you’re constantly shifting from one leg to another, making walking a single leg (SL) balance movement. One foot is fixed and one is always lifted. When you run, you’re always on a SL. That’s reason enough, but a big reason is also fall prevention. Regardless of age.
- Glute Strength: to balance on a beam means your body is constantly fighting to balance itself in the frontal plane. One of the prime muscles doing this is your Glute Medius, as well as your TFL (tensor fascia late). By driving the foot into the ground or beam you make a direct connection to your glutes. In the video, Jason goes for a full two minutes, ask him how his glutes felt!
- Helps keep your knees safe: Simply put, our feet are connected to our glutes. As I mentioned above, as your feet move side to side so will your Glute Medius. AND, your Glutes drive your knees…healthy feet=healthy glutes=healthy knees. We are one integrated kinetic chain from toe to fingertip.
- Proprioception: Ever wonder why you don’t miss your mouth when you eat with a spoon or fork? Ever wonder how you never miss a step when using stairs? How is it that you know exactly how high to lift your leg? It’s called proprioception, body awareness. This means during life or sport whenever you’re bumped, pushed, hit etc, you have a greater chance of being able to stay up or recover. You have a better ability to keep your COG (center of gravity) in-between your BOS (base of support-the space between your feet.)
Please note that many will need to begin these movements on a stable surface. In fact, I would suggest regardless of your skill level that you do a bit of practicing on a stable surface to begin. This is a great way to lay down those patterns while not having as much concern about the balance aspect. Please note that if the stable ground is also a challenge, you would begin holding on to a dowel rod or body bar.
Depending on where you begin, the goal is to take you from the supported stable surface, to an unsupported stable surface, up to the beam supported and finally on the beam with no support. Where you begin is KEY. So, do not advance yourself too quickly.
Also, keep in mind that in the video Jason (@coachjay.persaud) performs all of this in one flow. You can break it down per movement. In other words, first perform the SL then stop and restart and perform the 2nd movement and so on.
In the exercise protocol below I’ve listed ways to begin, but this is what you are looking to work up to:
- The SL Balance: 30 secs per side.
- Clocks: Left Leg: 12PM, 3PM, 6PM. Right Leg: 12PM, 9PM, 6PM.
- Runners “A”’s: 5 per side.
If you have any other questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’re interested in picking up a beam go to: www.hqconsulting.ca and once you get to the cart use the code CKHQ10 to receive 10% off just for being a canfitpro member.
Once you have been able to progress from the ground to the beam:
- The SL Balance: Begin with 10 secs and work up to 30 secs depending on your goals.
- The Clocks: Begin with just tapping 12PM once per Leg. Work up to the full circle. Repeat if you like.
- Runner “A”’s: Begin with one per side, work up to 5 per side, or more.
- ALWAYS, ALWAYS remember: SAFETY FIRST.
- ALWAYS regress and progress as needed. Not sure how? Find me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.