Episode 78 – I’m Flat-footed. What should I do?

 

You’ve been doing leg exercises and it has been difficult. Not only are you wobbly, can’t keep your balance. What about your feet? They’ve been aching since day one! I know what you’re thinking, “I’m flat-footed what should I do?”

 

After a visit to your local podiatrist, they say you are flatfooted! Damn, what’s this all about?

 

Well, foot muscles can be unfit as well.

 

Flat foot or overpronation is the depression of the medial arch of your foot. In other words, the inside of your foot is supposed to be off the ground when your foot is on the ground – but it isn’t!

 

There are two types of overpronation:

  • Flexible flat foot – where the arch is visible when you lift your foot off the ground.
  • Rigid flat foot – is simply flat no matter what.

 

While most of the time flat feet won’t cause an “out of this world” problem, it’s important to know you can improve your foot situation. Here’s the chance to make amends for your feet.

 

Flatfoot exercises for feet fitness

 

1. Stretch Calf and Foot muscles

It’s important to stretch and release your foot and its surrounding muscles. This will help to loosen up any muscles that may be tight or inhibiting proper activation. Hold these stretches for as long as comfortable and build up over time.

 

Three good stretches to try are:

 

  • Foot massage rollers and trigger points

Simply roll out your foot muscles and fascia on a foot roller until they feel loose. Tennis balls, softballs and bottles are also suitable.

 

  • Calf stretches

Calf stretches can be performed by placing your foot against a wall, and leaning into it from the hips. Keep the leg straight.

 

  • Tibias anterior stretches

Tibias anterior stretches can be performed by moving into a “seiza” sitting position. Simply sit down on the floor butt muscles resting on ankles and knees together.

 

 

“Help! i’m flat-footed, what should I do?” Never fear, there are 3 other steps to help with flatfeet. Read on below.

 

 

2. Strengthen those small foot muscles

To build your foot muscles try this:

  • Curl your foot arch up while maintaining floor contact with your toes and the heel of your foot. So, basically you’re raising the inside of your foot. You’re doing it right if you see the medial (inside) side of your foot lift up off the ground.
  • Do a series of reps and sets while maintaining good form.

 

Why’s it work?

It strengthens the muscles responsible for the arch on the underside of your foot.

 

3. Point the Big toe down and up

Easier said than done!

 

Try this while sitting on your chair:

Lift your big toe up to the ceiling while keeping your toes on the ground, then alternate by pressing your big toe down while keeping your toes up.

See how many you can do!

 

4. Raise your heels

Keep your hands on a wall or any stable surface and lift both your heels as high as you can while keeping your toes pressed to the ground. Don’t forget to do it on each leg. Too hard? Try it seated first, then move into the standing calf raise.

 

Challenge yourself:

How many can you do on each foot? Are they the same number? If not, you may have a muscle imbalance.

 

Key points when exercising your calves:

  1. Neutral foot
  2. Toes and ball of the feet flat on the ground
  3. Toes pointing forward
  4. Progress your reps over time.

 

Sole mate!

Next time you think, “I’m flat-footed, what should I do?” revisit this article to review your notes. Then back to doing your exercises! Look after your feet and they’ll look after you! They do a lot more than you think!

 

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Bibliography

  • Chek, P. (2009) How to Eat, Move and Be Healthy!
  • Cooley, B. (2005) The Genius of Flexibility: The smart way to stretch and strengthen your body. Fireside
  • Erhman, J. Gordon, P. Visich, P. Keteyian, S. (2003) Clinical Exercise Physiology. Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.
  • Myers, T. (2009) Anatomy Trains: Myofascial Meridians for Manual and Movement Therapists (2nd Ed.). Churchill Livingstone
  • Porth, C. (2002) Pathophysiology: Concepts of Altered Health States (6th Ed.) Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins
  • Scientific Publishing, Ltd. (no author) (2006) Scientific Publishing’s Anatomy Chart Book. Scientific Publishing Limited
  • Sherwood, L.(2004) Human Physiology: From Cells to Systems (5th Ed.) Thomson, Brooks/Cole

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness.

Chris Everingham lives and breathes health & fitness. International Athlete, Elite Performance Manager for the Philippine Volcanoes rugby teams, qualified Dietitian / Nutritionist and qualified educator. Chris Everingham combines more than 10 years of experience and education together to deliver the best strategies to grow your mindset, rewire your habits and transform your life.

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