Strengthen Your Arches
Earlier on we posted about the importance of strengthening and targeting all 3 arches of the foot (medial, lateral and anterior transverse), in order to improve stability and absorption of the foot intrinsics when planting and pushing off.
There are a lot of great exercises to achieve this, but our personal favourite is the modified single leg balance compass (SLBC) exercise. This is an effective multidirectional foot and ankle stability exercise on its own which when modified allows you to focus on one arch more than the others (Note: it is impossible to strengthen arches in isolation). 1) MEDIAL arch emphasis - grab two coins and place them under the ball of your big toe and the inside aspect of your heel and perform a SLBC exercise as shown. Be sure the grip the ground focusing on those two points of contact. 2) LATERAL arch emphasis - place the coins under the ball of your little toe and outside aspect of heel. Focus in gripping onto the ground through these two points of contact and repeat the SLBC. 3) Anterior TRANSVERSE arch emphasis - place the coins under the ball of your big toe and little toe and repeat, focusing on gripping the ground through these two points of contact. The effects of using the coins is the sensory feedback they provide which cues you to more specifically target one arch over the other. Give each variation a go, see which one you find more difficult then focus on that and our caring and friendly Chatswood or North Sydney Physio team would love to help you out, so reach out to us if you have any questions!