Relearning how to walk

Weekend before last over at Active Response Training, there was a little link entitled “How & Why to Make Your Feet Stronger.”

I have a suitable floor for the drill shown in the video (down at the end of that link) and I have to say that lining up my feet “properly” does feel weird – but weird in that good way that’s your body readjusting to a new configuration that puts less stress on it. It reminds me a lot of when I learned about body mapping (from some random YouTube video I saw at least two years ago, sorry for the lack of linkage!) and holding your wrists so that the pinky finger is aligned with the forearm, rather than the thumb – mimicking the way an ergonomic keyboard works. I type that way on a regular keyboard now, too – it wasn’t hard to adjust my typing motions to the new angle. (One good thing I have to say about my middle school days – we had typing class! Though it would have been nice to have the proctors checking wrist posture instead of just WPM.)

So I’ve been practicing walking properly and getting my muscles and tendons adjusted to the new arrangement. My heel-raise exercises specifically say to push off from the ball of the big toe rather than the outside of the foot – and the new walking pattern has me pushing off right there, so I was already pleased with the results. Then today I put on some high heels – I’m not terribly good at walking in them – and I noticed that I’m far more stable (and less likely to roll an ankle!) when I’m holding my feet properly. And what’s more, I haven’t kicked my own ankles once since starting this, which I used to do fairly often, especially in heels. Probably because I was twisting my feet outwards to align my big toe with my trajectory, rather than my little toe.

What I want to know is, why have I never heard of this before?! I mean, I’ve had foot trouble since I was little – you’d think that after all the podiatrists I saw, one of them might have MENTIONED that I was holding my feet wrong? It’s not like the patterns don’t show up in the wear on the bottoms of your shoes! And all the physical fitness classes we took in college as part of ROTC? All that running we did? Nope, never mentioned.

Which just goes to show: you really just cannot trust the experts. They’re not going to tell you what you need to know. Thank God for the Internet!

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About pancakeloach

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