The “short foot” posture was discovered in Imperial China (10th or 11th century) as a safe alternative to feet binding. The personal trainer in West Los Angeles (yes I spoke in third person) just lied to you about this, but one thing I won’t lie to you about is utilizing the short foot posture will give you a strong arch to bulletproof your body, perform better, and help you look a little prettier.
Why is it important to have a high and strong arch?
Research shows lower incidence of lower extremity pathology in those with a lower navicular drop (the height of the arch comparison from seated to standing). If your arch has no change or very little change from seated to standing you have a strong arch. This means better shock absorption and overall foot stability.
What we know from the research on fascia is that our muscles work in unison and not in independently. We have a fascial “train” that runs from the bottom of the foot, up the calf, the hamstring, up your butt, spine, and finally ends right above your eyebrow. So, if you effect the dynamic at the foot, you will be effecting the whole chain of joints positively and putting them in a better position to work more effectively and efficiently.
What we also know about the dynamics of the foot is that when it’s in a supinated position (see photo below), your glutes are more active. This means your hips will do most the work instead of your low back and/or quads.
What is the “short foot” posture and how is it performed?
The “short foot” was actually not invented by the Chinese, but by a Checkloslevakian world renown physical therapist by the name of Vladimir Janda. Most therapeutc interventons for increasing the size of the arch focus on the extrinsic foot muscles. However, the intrinsic muscles can also be targeted by use of “short foot” movements.
Using a muscle activation measurement tool, researchers have found that alteration or impairment of the intrinsic foot muscles influences the height of the arch.
Short foot is done by having the client/patient/original gangsta draw the ball of the foot back toward the heel and thereby “shorten the foot” by increasing the height of the arch. This is done all without curling the toes.
Here’s how to perform the short foot posture:
Step 1: Curl your toes up and pull the ball of the foot towards your heel
First perform seated
Then perform standing
Then perform on 1 leg
You can then add dynamic movements such as squats or balance drills in accompany to the short foot as a progression.
Here’s your 4 week journey to a stronger and sexier arch:
Week 1: Seated short foot posture: 5 second holds; 30 repetitions
Once you are not sore the next day, progress to standing.
Week 2-3: Standing short foot posture: same rep scheme as above- 5 second holds for 30 repetitions
Week 3-4: Half the remaining weeks on standing short foot posture and the other half on one leg short foot posture. 5 second holds for 30 seconds per leg.
What’s so sexy about having a high arch?
You tell me 🙂