Side Step to Skip, Stop, Short Foot Activation, Single Leg Balance = Strength, Stability & Success
We started to really implement this & then fine tune it in response to a handful of athletes (from weekend warriors & runners to our high school athletes; especially those that play soccer &/or basketball ), who noted either stiff or weak, unstable ankles, lack of balance, as well as foot pain in the arch & heel commonly referred to as plantar fasciitis & even Achilles’ Tendonosis.
However, this lateral movement is applicable & can be practically applied to virtually everyone’s full body workout, DIY, no equipment necessary (aka one less excuse), Movement Rx. Also worth noting is the empowering improvement we’ve seen in those determined & dedicated individuals who want to avoid or get out of those muscle atrophy & weakness potentiating orthotics or supports.
It can all start with the explained balancing of the supinators & pronators (neither is inherently “bad,” & both necessary for optimal biomechanics & your best chances at efficient, pain free movement), the hip adductors & abductors, & improving balance, strength & stability from the foot up through the core; feel it, embrace it, & repeat.
Know why you’re doing what you’re doing.
Know what you should be feeling; engaging & activating & experiencing.
Get after it.
This strengthening and stabilizing technique was spawned out of injured &/or elder patients not being able to get down to the floor and perform a hip strengthening technique: ( https://onebody.live/2020/01/18/8-way-hips-lateral-strength-stability-balance/ ), yet demonstrating a clear need to for hip stabilization. The other thought that drove the creation of this technique was the desire to go beyond simple, tissue specific, isolation exercises/techniques, and look to perform the movements in a more practical position; a functional movement if you will.
Specific strengthening is good and has it’s place no doubt, but if we can piece the isolation exercises together and couple that with being in the relative body position that we will be looking to have the body engage all of these tissues in a synergystic manner, it becomes more of an effective neuro-musculo-skeletal collaborative dance both in practice and through implementation throughout the day.
As stated in another recent post: ( https://onebody.live/2020/02/10/biomechanics-breakdown-short-foot-activation-a-strong-foot-the-basis-for-all-other-movement/ ), it starts with the foot for a variety of reasons, we then continue to activate and engage up the chain, AND THEN go into our additional movements in a more controlled, balanced, and powerful manner; facilitating both efficient and safer movement. When we strip it down and pay attention to details in a repetitive, systematic manner, it more easily translates to our everyday movements with less effort; reprogramming the nervous system and activations patterns necessary to walk, run, jump, lift, MOVE to the best of our ability.
This has “exercise” has become one of the most oft utilized both personally and clinically as it serves as a comprehensive means to address essential hip strength. As noted in the demonstration below, weakness, instability or an overall inability to communicate with these stabilizing muscles can result in not only local hip issues, but knee pain and damage, IT-Band syndrome, knock knee while running, OVER-pronation and problematic stress to the plantar fascia, an imbalance and weakness while walking, running, jumping, squatting, dead lifting; the list goes on.
Even if you do not have any of the above issues (yet?), this is no doubt a solid add to your proactive, intelligent, full body regimen.
Intentionally moving more throughout the day or implementing a stand-up work station is one of the most proactively potent things you can do to potentiate better overall health; but especially to the neuro-musculo-skeletal system.
We see patients do this all the time and then rave about the difference it has made; only regretting not doing it sooner.
If for whatever reason, movement modifications like the stand up desk is an obstacle, mobilization techniques like the one demonstrated below (a personal favorite & go-to) can work wonders towards opening up those hip flexors & lengthening those shortened adductors.