So for years I have suffered with various knee/hip/back problems that have been blamed on the fact that I have ‘flat-feet’/’collapsed arches’. Physio always helped with the treatment/rehab, but only by giving me insoles to ‘fix’ the collapsed arches. So in hindsight treatment of the current problem without fixing the cause.
Surely we should be taking a step back and work towards what it is that causes the issue in the first place. Take a look in the mirror, what is causing the arches to collapse? Can you lift your arches up and do you notice any changes? Most, if not everyone will be able to form an arch in their feet, so surely if we can create it just through movement we should be able to work to make this permanent and rid ourselves of the pains and injuries associated with the label ‘flat-footed’.
Let me tell you how….
Since training with my friend and fellow trainer, Sam of Team Vaughan-Fit, I have learnt to look a lot more at posture and movement patterns as a way of determining areas of tightness and weakness and identifying broken movement patterns and new ways to work to improve this. Having studied Sports Therapy, I have worked a lot on rehab and treating injuries, but what is often neglected is why these injuries happen in the first place and how we can identify areas of concern before they become a problem.
Poor posture is often caused by sitting down working at a computer for long periods of time or poor technique/training/movement patterns, resulting in over activation of one group of muscles, which (as I have mentioned in previous posts), results in underactive opposing muscles. As we know, muscles work in pairs to create movement and so when one is tight/over active it then weakens and lengthens the opposing to still allow us to move. Our bodies are very good at adapting to help us carry on and often it isn’t until injury or pain that we notice actually there is a problem.
Looking at me, you would find flaws in my posture – ‘horse riders posture’ as Sam calls it (and rightly so) – typically tight hips, rounded and inwardly rotated shoulders. So as I stand in the mirror, (no looking in the mirror does not always need to be about vanity) I can clearly see my current relaxed posture means my ankles are very much inwardly rotated i.e. flat feet/collapsed arches. But if I (keeping both feet planted) try and turn my toes out, this motion actually gives me an arch in my foot…feels a little alien but it is miracle!
Creating the Arch
So now I have identified that I can in fact create an arch in my foot, I need to establish why it is I walk and naturally stand with flattened arches, as clearly it isn’t doing me any good. I continue to repeat raising the arches noticing any changes in the mirror in posture (look from front and the side). I see that with collapsed arches my hips are very much tilted forward (anterior pelvic tilt) with no tension in my bum or backs of my legs (posterior chain) with my knees collapsed in and feeling like they are taking a lot of the stress.
However with my arches raised, I notice I stand a lot straighter, my core is more engaged and my hips sit back with posterior chain engaged and working. Although this does feel a little alien, it also feels like my hips are more open and free and taking the stress (how it should be) instead of through my knee. So no wonder with my collapsed arches, I have had the knee and hip issues over the years!
Fix the Cause
So whilst I have been using expensive trips to the physio (dont get me wrong physios do a great job), in this case, I should have been looking at why this happened, which I have now identified and am working on (sample of some of the exercises seen here).
Now for me I can easily tell that my hip flexors are too tight and my hamstrings, (back of the legs) adductors (inner thighs) and core are weak and so I need to mobilise/strengthen these areas. However I have spent a long time studying the human body anatomy and function and do not expect you to understand and know the areas you personally need to work on, but I do advise speaking to a fitness advisor/personal trainer to help you identify your weaknesses and how to improve these to prevent injury, move better and live a happier, healthier lifestyle!
I am more than happy to discuss any questions you may have via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or feel free to pop into The Park Club, Milton for a free consultation and see how I can help you improve posture and move better!
My training and posture is not flawless and I still have a lot to learn and improve on – but what I pride myself on is being willing to take advice, listen to others and always looking to build on the knowledge and skills set I currently have. My aim is to not only help my clients reach their goals, but teach them to move better, enjoy exercise and live a happier and healthier lifestyle as a result.
Thanks so much for reading and would love to hear any feedback/comments you have (good or bad)!
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