Technique Thursday: The Foundation of our Movement – Feet in Focus
Hello fellow Pilates teachers,
On this Technique Thursday, let's delve deeper into the world beneath our ankles – our feet. Often taken for granted, our feet's health and alignment play a crucial role in our overall body mechanics.
The Significance of Feet in Pilates Practice
Our feet are the pillars of our body's architecture. However, habitual movement patterns and certain footwear choices can lead to imbalances. Noticeable issues such as internal rotation of legs or pronation/supination of feet can significantly affect our body, extending up to the knees and pelvis. Hence, we say: "Happy feet, happy pelvis, happy face."
Addressing Flat Feet in Pilates
Flat feet, or fallen arches, are a common concern. This condition, where the foot's arch collapses, can lead to a chain reaction of alignment issues throughout the body. The key lies in understanding the role of the fascia in our feet. There are two layers of fascia in the foot, and when we activate the arch, these layers work to bring strength back to the arch, countering the weakness caused by flat feet.
Five Ways to Improve Foot Function in Pilates
Integrate Foot Circles and Flexibility Drills: Start with exercises that encourage mobility and flexibility, essential for feet with fallen arches.
Strengthening the Arches: Implement exercises specifically designed to strengthen the foot's arch. This could include towel scrunches or toe lifts, which encourage the activation of the foot's muscles and fascia.
Employ Corrective Exercises for Flat Feet: Focus on exercises that help in correcting over-pronation. Balance and stabilisation exercises are particularly beneficial in this regard.
Proprioceptive Activities Using Pilates Props: Utilise props like small balls or balance pads to enhance foot proprioception, crucial for feet that tend to flatten.
Encourage Weight Distribution Awareness: Teach students to evenly distribute their weight across the feet. This practice is vital for those with flat feet to avoid overloading the inner side of the foot.
By focusing on the health of our feet, especially addressing specific issues like flat feet, we not only correct immediate discomfort but also contribute to our overall well-being. In Pilates, we have the unique opportunity to bring awareness and strength back to our feet, transforming our students' movements and posture.
Remember, every part of the body matters in Pilates, and our feet are the foundation of this beautiful practice. Let's nurture them with the attention they deserve.