Based on the StepStrong Foot Quiz it was determined that you have a flexible flat foot.
With our feet as the foundation to our body alignment and function, having a flexible foot means that there is a component of ligament laxity or hypermobility in your foot. This hypermobility is often related to our connective tissue and not simply due to “weak foot muscles”.
Sometimes people with flexible flat feet may say that their feet fatigue easily or that they sometimes experience pain in the knees and lower back. Foot fatigue and transfer stress is due to the pronation or rolling inward component of flat feet.
Before you start to panic about your foot type, do not worry!
We have some great tips to help you build a strong foundation and offset the flexibility that comes with your foot type.
Tip #1 – Sensory stimulation builds foot awareness
Strong feet needs to start with foot awareness. Do you feel your feet? Are you aware of your pressure distribution?
Integrating at least 30 minutes of daily barefoot stimulation is a great way to improve foot awareness and foot strength. Barefoot stimulation could mean walking around your home barefoot, or taking a barefoot class such as yoga.
Want to kick it up a notch? Walk on different surfaces such as outdoors, pebble baths or even textured mats.
Tip #2 – Finding neutral is a powerful way to “set your base”
A neutral foot is one that is centered on its foot tripod, with the toes spread wide and flat on the ground. Once on the foot tripod, rotate out with the hips to lift the arch.
The next time you are standing in one place brushing your teeth or doing the dishes, find your tripod and “set your base”. Try to bring this consciousness of your foot placement as often as you can throughout the day.
Tip #3 – Foot exercises lead to a strong foundation
Just like any other group of muscles in our body, our foot muscles need to be strengthened and worked out. One of the best go-to exercises for strengthening the feet is called short foot.
Short foot exercises is engaged through the action of pushing the toes down into the ground. This action of pushing the toes down can be experienced from a another exercise called forward lean.
Start by standing tall with the feet shoulder width apart. Keeping the body stiff, start to lean forward feeling the toes push down into the ground. Keep the contraction of the toes pushing down but lift the body up so you are standing straight again.
Once you understand the action of pushing the toes down, you can do this throughout your day. Whether you are squatting at the gym or doing tree pose in yoga, push the toes down to activate your foot muscles.
Tip #4 – Consider OTC arch supports if you have foot pain
Still feeling quite a bit of foot pain or fatigue and your day or work requires you to be on your feet long hours? Consider adding in an over-the-counter arch support to keep the feet supported.
As your feet become stronger, eventually you may not need arch supports. But until then, the goal is to balance your foot stress to avoid pain and fatigue.