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Getting To The Bottom Of Barefoot Training

Aug 17, 2013

Look at almost any muscle diagram in a gym today and it appears as if the muscles of the body simply stop at the calves. In reality, there are more than a dozen muscles in each foot, yet the fitness industry has almost completely ignored the labeling and study of foot muscles (Cook, 2003). More than any other muscles of the body, our feet literally carry us through our lives, so it's important that we understand, train and implement efficient self-care of this important area of the body.

Morton's Toe: Morton's Toe exists when the first toe of the foot is longer than the big toe. While this alone means nothing in terms of one's individual abilities, research indicates an overall tendency of those with Morton's Toe in one or both feet to be prone to trips, slips, ankle sprains and shin splints.

Transverse Arch: When the ball of the foot contacts the floor, this is a diad contact, touching the ground with the area of the foot between and below the big toe and the small toe. This imaginary line forms the transverse arch.

Longitudinal Arch: The long line formed between the soft part of the diad below the middle toe to the heel bone is the longitudinal arch.

Foot Triangle: The triad foot strike or stance is formed when bodyweight is evenly placed on the ends of the transverse arch and the end of the longitudinal arch on the heel, spreading the weight out along an imaginary triangle.

Ankle Noise: Stand on one foot and try to balance. Notice that altering your vision (e.g., looking up, down, and/or closing your eyes without moving your head), tilting your head in different directions without changing your eye focus and combining the two all alter ankle and foot stability because they affect balance. These manipulations create movements of the proprioceptors of the feet and ankles called ankle noise. Proper barefoot training involves creating appropriate amounts of ankle noise for the foot complex to respond positively over time (Cohen, 1997).


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