Postural problems are one of the biggest problems I see with my clients – neck pain, rounded shoulders, painful lower backs and tightness through in the legs – yet they just can’t seem to fix it.
Now, what you do for the majority of the day will outweigh the hour or so you do trying to fix the problem, but you must address the issue properly first before looking to combine it with certain lifestyle changes.
Which is why the health of my client’s feet, hips and shoulders are a HUGE priority and that which I’ll address today.
First off, I assess all of my client’s movements whilst they’re barefoot since their trainers can mask some of the most common foot symptoms – imbalance, tightness, lack of big toe function and/or arch strength.
Then, once we have a plan in place they’ll usually train barefoot in our sessions. This is a great way to drill down and get them strengthening and mobilising their feet.
Keeping your feet healthy and mobile is essential since sore, tight and or painful feet can become a substantially negative impact on your quality of life. Plus, the feet are usually an area most tend to neglect.
A high arch is associated with ankle pain whilst a flat foot is associated with knee pain[i], yet both are prescribed arch support as a means to fix the problem when in reality they only mask it. A lack of proper foot function can lead to a host of problems in the knees and hips and is often missed when diagnosing these issues.
Tight hamstrings for instance play a significant role in both poor postural positioning and plantar fasciitis[ii], whilst tight feet play effect hamstring and so you can see the complexity and interconnection between the two.
So, what can you do to help fix this? I like to have my clients' self-myofascial release (SMR) via a tennis ball to the bottom of the foot to help increase their flexibility and range of movement.[iii]
Here are four simple mobility drills to help open up your feet, hamstrings and shoulders – try each of these for 1-minute each once/twice per day for the next two weeks:
Let me know how you get on in the comments below and send this to a friend who needs it.
Speak soon, JC.