"foot essence", a new concept
Hello fellow runners!
We're sure you've heard about "core training" of the body in the gym... You have to "work at the core", "core is basic for runners"... "Core" is an English word, the meaning is "center" or The "nucleus", which mainly concerns the muscles in the "center" of the body: the abdominal, lumbar, and pelvic muscles, the fibers, and the deep muscles of the spine. But today, we bring you a new concept, and it is about foot essence.
The key to making everything work in harmony and coordination when walking and running is for the foot to act as a central system. This consists of passive (bones, joints, etc.), active (muscles, tendons, etc.) and nervous (nerves) structures to provide dynamic control of the foot during these functional activities with the right running shoe for your needs.
Foot muscle training
Overload injuries can be the result of a loss or restriction in one of the subsystems (passive, active, neural) of the "basic foot system", resulting in increased tension of the ankle, knee, hip, ...
To help you prevent this type of injury, it is also very important to train the muscles of the foot. We have more than 100 muscles that originate or are implanted in the foot...is that clear? And so ... it is necessary to train the foot and choose a good fitness shoe!
The muscles of the foot should be trained by progression. How? By trying to work on their strengths individually (isolating) and then merging them together (merging) so that it is more representative and realistic. We must be looking for function and dynamic control of the foot and the musculoskeletal system when we run like a deer!
Among the most important exercises for the core foot, there are those that focus on:
Improved motor control and dissociation of the flexor and extensor muscles (photo 1). The first toe dorsiflexion is performed while the rest of the toes are kept on the floor. Then the reverse exercise is performed, keeping the first toe supported while the rest of the toes are raised.
Work for the flexor longus muscle of the first finger (photo 2). Using a rubber band around the phalanx of the first finger, dorsiflexion (eccentric) and plantar flexion (concentric) exercises are performed on the flexor longus muscle of the first finger.
Activation of the joint flexor muscles of the fingers (short and long) (photo 3). To do this, it is necessary to focus on the flexion of the metatarsophalangeal joints in order to activate the intrinsic muscles (you have to look at the "joints" of the metatarsal heads) and not on the fingers!
Improve dynamic foot balance and foot pronation with the most popular exercises ever... the short foot exercise. We won't tell you that it's easy to do, because it isn't; But we guarantee you that it is the most complete exercise to improve and try to avoid injuries. It's an exercise that also improves another structure of the foot that comes together and coordinates with the muscles and bones, the plantar fascia. His job, in addition to bothering us when we flare up and have fasciitis, is to support the arch of the foot during propulsion while walking and running.
To perform the short foot exercise, we must try (not say better than try...) to provide support for the head of the first metatarsal to the knot (heel) without working the toes. We cannot bend them during exercise. In this link you can watch this exercise done perfectly: https://youtu.be/DoEIW4Y8MEo
Another foot core exercise that scientific evidence recommends, especially if you have a bunion... is toe spread (photo 4). This exercise, according to the researchers, improves the orientation of the hallux valgus (the medical name for bunion) by increasing the section of the abductor muscle of the first toe. It exerts a force in the opposite direction as the onion is deflected. The goal is to lift the fingers off the floor and try to separate them as much as possible, while the rubber band should make it easier to grab the first finger. A small ball can be used to try to center the movement on the first toe and without bringing the first insteps together.
Needless to say, if you can perform these exercises under the supervision and assistance of your coach, so much the better!
In conclusion, dear runners, it is important to emphasize the interaction and coordinated work of joints, muscles and nerves to adapt to the demands and demands of the race; And remember: a strong foot is the healthiest foot!