A world of potential for movement resides in our feet, yet how much are we really using?
Let’s check in: Remove your shoes and take a quick walk around the room. While walking, notice which part of your foot lands and where you feel pressure/feedback from the ground. Your heel? Ball of the foot? How about the toes? Great, that’s 3 spots!
Now try lifting just your big toe, leaving all the little toes on the ground. This big toe extension movement you are attempting is governed by a tendon called the Extensor Hallucis Longus. Now settle that big toe down and try lifting all the little toes ruled by the extensor digitorum longus tendons. How’s that motor-control working for ya? Can you see the strappy tendons popping up underneath the skin as you attempt these movements? Given that we wear protective coverings (ahem, shoes) all our lives, we have lost a great amount of innate toe dexterity and connection with the extensor hallucis longus & extensor digitorum longus tendons. But we CAN reclaim a remarkable amount, simply read on!
Grab your grippy/pliable/and oh so useful Yoga Tune Up® Therapy Balls and watch the video below while we continue on with our point below… Who says multi-tasking is inefficient?
Stiletto Treatment: YTU Therapy Ball Rolling Video
While you are rolling away, consider the following: we have around 200 bones in our body and approximately 25% of all bones & muscles in our body reside BELOW the ankle. Years of “protecting” our feet have decreased their proprioceptive abilities and some biomechanists have found evidence that this protection may contribute to bone density decrease, nerve damage and even musculoskeletal diseases*
Go easy and light while rolling out your feet. You are stimulating nerve endings, skin cells, fascial tissues and muscle layers to increase your ability to feel with your feet. Re-introducing friction and slide/glide to your lovely feet is the first part in getting an awareness of your feet… and whether they are actually walking for you or your shoes are doing all the walking.
Come back later this week for part DEUX on the feet which will include VITAL stretches to lengthen calf and leg muscles. A MUST for your lower body health!