During our warm up protocols, one of the first items that we like to address is our feet. Shoes are designed to make it easy on our feet, so we end up losing discipline in our foot/ankle complex. The truth is, humans were not meant to wear shoes, and unfortunately we now live in a world where hoverboards are a thing.
Our feet are responsible for transferring force from our body into the earth. The stronger the feet, the stronger the foundation, which means more stability and balance. The weaker the feet, the less control we have over our hips and our posterior chain!
Developing mobility in our big toe, strength in our arches and mobility in our ankle is the key to beginning a healthy “ground up”, joint-by-joint mobility and stability chain. Begin with simple big toe mobility work along with single leg stability drills with your shoes off to promote your feet/toes to grip the ground and develop strong arches. To increase difficulty you can implement movement such as flexion/extension at the hip, add instability like inserting a foam balance pad or disc pillow, as well as focus on an external stimuli like playing catch with a tennis ball. Finish with ankle mobility techniques such as ankle glides or banded ankle sequences.
Always remember to warm up with a purpose! Activate and mobilize specific joints with a purpose!
“Joint by Joint” Theory – Gray Cook and Mike Boyle
Big Toe – Mobility
Foot – Stability
Ankle – Mobility
Knee – Stability
Hip – Mobility/Stability
Core – Stability
Thoracic Spine – Mobility
Scapulae – Stability/Mobility
Glenohumeral Joint – Mobility
Cervical Spine – Stability