Andrew doing scorpion reach

Unlocking Foot Health: Understanding Natural Feet, Biomechanics, and Mobility Tests

Dec 19, 2022

Your feet serve as the foundation for stability, balance, grip, and strength. Embracing the concept of "Natural Feet," akin to the foot mechanics Tarzan would maintain in the jungle without shoes, becomes crucial for optimal well-being. Discover the impact of modern footwear on foot integrity and why considering "Natural Feet" is essential.

Biomechanics of the Foot:

Understanding terms like "Pronation" and "Supination" is key to comprehending normal foot mechanics. Pronation involves the foot leaning inward, while supination sees the foot leaning outward. These mechanics come into play during each step, affecting shock absorption and propulsion.

Common Issues and Mobility Tests:

Learn to identify common issues like over-pronation (flat feet) and over-supination (high arches). A simple single leg balance test or the Wet Test can provide insights into your foot type.

Wet Test:

  1. Pour a thin layer of water into a shallow pan.
  2. Wet the sole of your foot.
  3. Step onto a blank piece of heavy paper.
  4. Examine your footprint to determine your foot arch type.

Normal Arch: About half of your arch region filled.
Flat Arch: Filled arch, indicating inward collapse.
High Arch: Little or no contact along the outside edge, showing a "high" arch.

Understanding your foot type empowers you to make informed decisions for your foot health.

Bones within foot region

Exercises for the Feet:

These exercises offer a unique opportunity to rejuvenate foot function, promoting increased blood flow, heightened awareness, and improved proprioception.

1. Plantar Fascia Lacrosse Roll:

An excellent mobilization exercise for restoring foot function, especially beneficial for those dealing with plantar fasciitis.

Step 1: Roll out the foot intentionally, applying gradual pressure from the ball of the foot to the heel (starting at the metatarsals) for 2 minutes.
Work up and down the foot, side to side. When you find a tender spot, linger, and breathe until the intensity subsides.
Step 2: Perform this for 2 minutes on each foot twice a day.
Remember, be intentional without overexerting. The goal is tolerable discomfort, not unbearable pain.

2. Dorsi Sit:

Sit back into your toes for 2 minutes, enhancing flexibility and mobility.

3. Human Toe Spreader:

A fantastic mobility drill, particularly useful for those in narrow-toed shoes.

Step 1: Interlace fingers between toes, emphasizing flexion and extension in a circular motion for about a minute.
Stretch toes towards the shin and in the opposite direction, repeating 3-5 times.
Step 3 to 8: Various movements like opening fingers, extending and flexing toes, and turning the foot into pronation and supination.

4. Toe Lifts:

Isolate and strengthen toes with different movements, including lifting, curling, and waving.

 5. Toe Curls:

Use marbles or a towel to engage toes, promoting strength and flexibility.

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