FITNESS FOCUS: Foot Alignment Whether you realize or not, how you stand on your feet affects the alignment of your entire body. This, in turn, affects your posture, balance, and the use of your core. Proper foot alignment is necessary for proper movement of the body. Unfortunately, we tend to collapse in the foot, rolling in toward the arch. According to an article on PilatesPro.com entitiled Pilates for Feet by Madeline Black, this collapse or pronation causes a pulling in the body. ” You can see how if you continue to look globally, the pull continues all the way up the body. [By learning proper foot alignment] you will see the body move back into a more neutral position globally. The neutral pelvis then provides the balanced position from which to engage the deep abdominals and strengthen the core.” So, even though it is a small part of the body, the foot affects the whole person. Training the muscles of the feet to stay in proper alignment means the body has a better chance of moving in proper alignment.
Arches In, Arches Out
Stand with the feet in a parallel position, legs hip distance apart, lengthening through the crown of the head.
Shoulders should be back and down. Gaze forward- not toward the feet.
Roll the feet toward the outer part of the foot- lifting the inner arch. The big toe will lift slightly off the floor.
Roll the inner foot in. The weight will be more on the big toe and away from the little toe.
Rhythmically move the arches out and in for 8 repetitions. Then slowly move the feet toward the center but only until the Achilles tendon is straight, do not go past this point. Try to maintain this position of the foot.—
This is neutral foot positioning.
STEPS FOR “LIFTING THE ARCH” EXERCISE
Start in neutral foot position.
Lift the Arches: Keep your toes relaxed, don’t scrunch them up, and pull the ball of your foot and heel toward each other. The foot stays on the floor. This is a small movement. The foot usually does not move, just changes shape.
Release the arch lift
Repeat 3 to 5 times
FAITH FOCUS: When looking up scriptures to use for today’s faith focus, I was astounded by how many references to “feet” there were- over 250. This is not a surprise when you consider how important the feet were to those living in a culture that used walking as its main form of transportation. The healthier your feet were, the more you were able to work, travel, etc. Scripture also refers to the feet as being what keeps us on the “path” that God provides for us. It is the strength of the feet that keeps us moving in alignment with His will.
It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he enables me to stand on the heights (2 Samuel 22:33-34)
My feet have closely followed his steps; I have kept to his way without turning aside. I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread. (Job 23:11-12)
My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not slipped. (Psalm 17:5)