Pain or stiffness at the bottom of a squat? Unable to get low (NOT Li’l Jon low) for a dig? Bunion throb after running? Do your feet look like Frodo’s? 

Above is the foot of a collegiate volleyball player and high school national champion. Even big-time athletes have to fix their mechanics. This is a typical athlete that also lacks a significant amount of ankle range into dorsiflexion (bringing the foot back towards the leg). In order to compensate for this during movements requiring a ton of dorsiflexion – like digging, squatting, running, etc. – athletes will turn the foot out and totally collapse the arch in order to still advance the leg over the foot. That’s the source of many bunions as well as knee injuries and even hip impingement because of that unstable and collapsed position. 

Basically, your body puts up with your crappy range  and tries to adjust (even successfully for awhile) but will eventually hand you the bill. So, if you have flat feet, tight ankles, Achilles problems, a history of MCL/ACL injuries – check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Try this – here’s betting you’ll be in a more powerful , stable foot position to load the lower extremity on-axis during squats, digs, even walking instead of crumpling through that arch and having feet like Frodo.

* Remember rotate your leg to the outside over your foot (squeezing your butt) to cue a stable foot – go for as long as it takes for you to improve, probably a few minutes.

-Seth (feet like Gandalf) Oberst

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