When it comes to our biomechanics, it all starts from the ground up - in our feet. Our feet serve as the foundation for our bodies, and the way we stand, walk, and move is all determined by the way we distribute our weight on our feet.
Unfortunately, many people suffer from improper weight distribution, which can lead to a host of problems up the chain, including ankle, knee, hip, or opposite shoulder issues. But, by understanding the importance of proper weight distribution and the foot tripod, you can help prevent these issues and move towards a stronger, healthier, and pain-free body.
The Foot Tripod: The Key to Proper Weight Distribution
The foot tripod is the term used to describe the three points of contact between the foot and the ground: the heel, the big toe, and the little toe. When we stand, walk, and move, our weight should be evenly distributed across these three points, creating a stable base of support.
Checking in with Your Weight Distribution
To determine whether you have proper weight distribution in your feet, simply remove your shoes and stand on a hard, flat surface like a tile floor. Concentrate, and feel where your weight is resting. If it's primarily on your heel or the inside or outside of your foot, it's likely that you have an imbalanced distribution of weight. It should feel equal from front to back and from side to side.
Proper Foot Tripod Alignment
To properly align your feet in the foot tripod, you should aim to distribute your weight evenly across all three points of contact: the heel, big toe, and little toe. This will help to create a stable base of support and prevent any imbalances that could lead to pain or injury. Many people note increased weight distributed on the inside of the foot, and the ankle rolls in slightly. This can alter the biomechanics and lead to bunion formation in addition to other problems.
Exercises for Strengthening the Intrinsic Muscles of the Feet
Strengthening the intrinsic muscles of the feet is important for proper weight distribution and a healthy, pain-free body. Here are a few starter exercises you can do to help:
Toe spreads: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Spread your toes as far apart as you can, then bring them back together. Repeat this 10-15 times for each foot.
Toe curls: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Curl your toes under, then release. Repeat this 10-15 times for each foot.
Foot crunches: Sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor. Pull up your foot and extend toes up towards your shin, then release. Repeat this 10-15 times for each foot.
My Favorite Home Tools for Feet
To help keep your feet strong and healthy, I recommend two of my favorite home tools: the naboso neuroball and toe spacers. The naboso neuroball is a small, spiky ball that you can use to massage your feet and improve circulation. Toe spacers are small, foam inserts that you place between your toes to help improve alignment and strengthen the intrinsic muscles of the feet.
By focusing on proper weight distribution in the feet and using tools like the naboso neuroball and toe spacers, you can help prevent pain and injury and move towards a stronger, healthier body. Remember, it all starts in the feet, so make sure to take care of them!