Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Use Your Feet to Balance

Hello everyone and welcome to the final PURE TIP of 2011! It has been a good year, and a quick year, and we are excited to continue growing and bringing you the best workouts and information possible in 2012.

This week I would like to share a personal revelation.

How many of you struggle with balance while on one leg? There are several one legged movements I do in the gym that challenge my balance (the single leg deadlift, for example.) Lately, I have been working out in some of those 5-Finger Shoes (I have been using the Adidas version), and I have learned quite a bit about my feet and how to use them to balance.

In regular shoes we rely on the platform we are standing on to balance, and when we start to tip, there is little that platform can do to help us regain balance and stability. The foot, however, has something that can help maintain and regain balance: the toes.

The toes, when allowed to move and function outside of the confines of a shoe, can contribute to maintaining balance, as well as to full-body strength, speed, and agility.

What I have specifically learned while wearing the 5 finger shoes is that if I drive my big toe into the ground while standing on one foot, I have an easier time maintaining my balance, even while doing movements such as the single leg deadlift or the Bulgarian lunge. I am using my toes to ‘claw at the ground’ much like an animal does when it runs.

I have tried this (driving my big toe into the ground) with regular shoes and it helped then as well, and that is what I want to encourage you to do next time you are balancing on one leg, whether you are at the gym or at home. Use your feet and your toes to grip the ground and you will immediately improve your stability.
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