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Stabilise the foot for maximal power generation and athleticism

How’s your foot?

Is it being all it can be?

Serious question. Is it?

Why do I ask? Why is this important?

Well, lets go to an analogy. Lets talk about cars for a while.

The part of the car that makes contact with the road is the tyre, the wheel, this all backed up by the suspension. It’s be a poor racing driver that neglected the tyre choice, tyre pressure and suspension set up of his vehicle. He could tune up the engine, add turbo’s, change the fuel mix adjust the gear ratios and exhausts all he wants, but if the part of the vehicle that contacts the ground isn’t in perfect working order, only a portion of the power will reach the tarmac, and god help him when he hits a corner!

Our feet are the part of our body that make contact with the ground, it’s through our feet that we actually express power. We essentially wedge ourselves against the ground as we throw a ball, a kick or a punch. We press our feet hard into the deck every time we propel ourselves forwards or try to change direction. We constantly adjust our balance and posture according to feedback from our feet. Ever wonder how your feet just seem to find the right place to land when walking or running over rough ground? It’s called proprioception and it’s something many are loosing track of these days.

These two videos are a few drills I like to use with my guys, especially those with collapsing arches, knee & low back pain. These drills do two things:

  1. Ask the body to create stability by challenging the balance

  2. Retrain the neural connections from the foot to the brain, kinda like defragmenting the hard drive on the computer.

The first clip is about stability and proprioception. Perform this bare foot (actually barefoot, “barefoot shoes” are still shoes) and on a solid floor. Move the floating leg real slow, it doesn’t matter how far it goes, only that it is disturbing your centre of gravity. Do your utmost to eliminate any wobble from the standing leg, until this happens, don;t move to the next progression. Here’s the clip:

This next clip is more about “defragmenting the drive” We’re going to walk forwards and back with the feet held in 6 different positions. I’ve no answer as to why this works, I came across the sequence in an online article several years ago. Just trust me that it does. Again, bare foot on a solid floor (you can wear shoes for the heel walking if you wish), take your time and do these regular. I’ve had guys come away with reduced knee pain, reduced back pain after a single set of these. I’ve another guys who increased his punching power by around 25% after a single set of these! They work. Here’s the video:

Play with these drills, do them during your normal day as well as in your warm up and/or between training sets. Re-establishing a relationship with the ground will change everything you do.

Once you are stable on your feet, your mobility will take a leap forwards as will your ability to  express your power.



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