5 Ways Flat Feet “F” Up Your Workouts!! (EXERCISES TO FIX THEM!)
What's up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. If you've got flat feet and you're working out, then this is one video that you can't miss. Today I'm going to show you 5 ways that flat feet are flat out f***ing you up in your workouts.
And I'm going to explain each one of them to you today. I'm going to have Raymond show you on his own body why that is. And most importantly, I'm going to show you 2 ways that you can try to start fixing it yourself. Alright, so we've got a big video here, an important video. Raymond got dressed up for it. That just shows you how important this really is. Especially if you've got flat feet. As I said, there are 5 ways that it is really really effecting your workouts.
And I'm going to start by showing you down at the ground exactly what's going on with our feet. And then you can start to understand why it's so bad and what it's implications are for your workouts. Alright. So, let's take a look at these feet and see what I'm talking about when I say flat feet. Again, you know if you have them what's going on. But for those that don't, this is what's important. You're supposed to have spacing here on the inside of your foot. You're supposed to have a natural arch, ok, some room in here to actually get, I don't know, even a pen or something on the ground that you can still stand over and not squoosh it to the ground.
Here, you can see that that would be impossible. There's absolutely no space here for my hand. That is an absence of an arch. Now, there's a lot of things that can cause this, guys. There can be congenital/inherited things. There can be just general laxity. There could be dysfunctions of the muscles themselves.
There's not really a real definitive cause but when you have them, you've got to do something about treating them. So, I'm going to get into the exact ways that this is going to cause a problem and then show you how to, most importantly, try to combat this and fix this yourself. Ok, first up, and a real big one here, especially if you guys are squatting at all, you're going to have a real hard time maintaining proper squat mechanics if you're squatting with uncorrected flat feet. The reason being is, all you have to do is look at what happens on the ground. I talk about it all the time, guys. It's a chain reaction. Everything starts from the ground up. You can see that on this side here, that when the foot has an arch, it allows the ankle, knee, and hip to stay in alignment because that arch elevates the foot just enough to keep that tibia right here in line with the knee, right here in line with the hip, ok.
So, everything can kind of move in line the way it's supposed to. This is a little bit exaggerated here, but you can see down at the ground, when the arch is collapsed, what happens is, the heel kicks out to the side here, and it brings the tibia and it rotates it inward. As soon as you do this, you're obviously causing a torque right here at the knee because this inward rotation here at the tibia causes this torquing. So, you're probably going to have some knee pain. We'll talk about that again in a little while, but it also completely misaligns this track, ok. The track is now off-track, as we say, and I've said before, the patella runs on a track.
It should run nice and straight up here like this. Here it obviously is not. You're going to have some knee issues. You're then going to have implications up here at the hip.
You're not going to be able to really keep your knees out the way you should during a squat because it's already internally rotated and caving in this way. You could get some ligament stress on the inside of the knee, and then up here at your back. Obviously if you're having hip issues, you're going to get compensations at your back and that can cause a whole host of issues too.
So, we want to make sure that if we're going to be squatting, we've got to do something about these flat feet. Ok. Number 2. You're going to get knee stress and even hip stress, really, for that matter, and back stress with jumping if you don't have a good solid arch.
Why? Because this arch down here allows for an eccentric loading of the foot to allow you to actually absorb the landing. Think about it. Even in your quads when you do a jump, and you jump and you land. If you jump and you land with straight legs, you have no absorption of that landing. But if you allow your knees to bend into a squat, you let the quads take on the eccentric loading so you can soften the landing.
The same thing happens down here at the foot. If you have a nice arch here, when you land, you absorb it through this excursion from up top, down to a flat foot. If you look at it over here, this person has jumping and landing, they've got no room, right? They're landing flat every single time. There is no eccentric slowing down or loading of that foot to take away some of the stress that gets thrown up into the knee, and then up into the hip and obviously into the low back. So, think about it. Box Jumps, Jumping Jacks, Jump Rope, all the things that you could be doing, anything that you're doing where you have to be jumping.
Even explosive lifts like Hang Cleans, if you're not really absorbing down here at the foot, then you're really sending all that shock, it's got to go somewhere, guys. You're sending all that shock up into the knee, up into the hip, and into the back. Ok. So, now listen up all you running athletes. If you have flat feet, you're going to have a hard time developing adequate running power and speed. The reason being is there's 2 main functions of the feet.
The first one we talked about already. It has to be able to adapt to the surface that you step on. So, when you put your foot down, because the arch is there, it allows you to eccentrically adapt to that surface. What happens is the midfoot joints here loosen up, allow you to sort of adapt to whatever the shape and surface is that you're standing on, but the second main function of the foot is, it must be able to become a rigid lever. It has to be a rigid level, one that you can propel your body off of as you run.
So, as the foot goes back into swing phase and you're going to now push off to allow yourself to then take your next step, you have to have an ability to lock up this mid-joint so you go into plantar flexion. You push off your calf, right? You get into plantar flexion. All these joints in here lock up and now become a real rigid lever. Literally, they functionally become rigid, mechanically so you can push off with that. Well, someone that has a flat foot, they're really doing a much better job of adapting to the surface, but they do a really poor job of pushing off behind for any power or strength. So, if you've got flat feet, good luck trying to generate as much power as somebody that doesn't have it.
Likely, and especially in sprinting where every tenth of a second matters, you're likely going to have a hard time keeping up. Ok, the next issue that we run into is a big issue I've talked about many times on our channel here, glute amnesia, and how that impacts a lot of the things that we do. Basically, any lower body exercise, because you want in a perfect world, the glutes to be working with the hamstrings, alright. If they go to sleep and if they have amnesia and they're not working as well as they should, you put a lot more stress on the hamstring than it should have because it really wants to work in concert with the glutes together. So, how do we do that? What's causing it? Well, you've got to go back again to the original thing, as I said. When the foot collapses, then the tibia collapses as well, when that happens, the knee kicks in. You get torque on the knee.
The hip becomes internally rotated. So now when the hip is internally rotated here, what happens? The muscles that externally rotate the hips, especially the glute medius kind of go on constant stretch and a long stretch, and they become weak. So, you get long, stretched out glute medius they get weak. As soon as those become weak, as I've said, now you've taken out a huge chunk of muscle who's real main function is to assist in all of your lower body strengthening and power and function. Once that goes to sleep, you're putting a hell of a lot of stress on muscles that aren't really allowed to, or strong enough to really take on that role of two and they wind up getting hurt so you can get hamstring injuries. You can get, again, back issues because again the muscles above and below, the non-functioning muscles usually going to wind up having an issue. So, glute amnesia, a bad thing, but it's really starting all the way down here at the foot because of what's going on with that arch. Finally, we've got the other issues that you see.
Again, I've already talked about a whole bunch, but patellar tendonitis and plantar fasciitis. Two big things that wind up usually following in sequence with somebody that's got chronically flat feet. Why? Because you can see that if this foot collapses like this one over here is, if it collapses down to the ground, you've got constant tension stress on the plantar fascia underneath your foot. If that's the case, you get just this constant pulling. It's not really an inflammatory condition.
It's actually just a chronic degeneration of that tendon because of the pulling on both sides of its attachments. So, that's one major issue. The second is patellar tendonitis, and we talked about his in our knee video. It's this whole train and track discussion that we've had. If you want the train which is the patella, to ride up and down on that track correctly, then you better make sure you keep that track straight.
If you're going to start bending and warping the track this way, that's going to happen if you screw something up down at the ground here, then that patella is not going to have a real easy time following up and down smoothly on here. You're going to get patellar issues, tracking issues, which are going to lead to a lot of pain in your patellar tendon which can feel like little knives going in every single time you squat. Certainly something that you don't want. So, most importantly, those are 5 big ways that these are screwing with your workouts, but I want to try to show you a couple things that you might be able to do to strengthen those muscles down here at the foot to get them a little bit more well-equipped to handle the stresses from above. Alright, so here's the 2 areas that we want to attack if you want to start trying to strengthen the muscles in here. Again, people might run and get orthotics, and that's a decent way to try to act as a crutch, but it's not doing anything to actually fix the problem. It's just filling in the gap here that you don't have in terms of your arch.
So, if we want to really try to get at this, you want to look at the muscles that might potentially be weak that are causing what's going on. The first thing I want to be able to do is start strengthening the muscles actually in your big toe. Believe it or not, this big toe here can have a lot of force and power. And assist you in lifting up your arch by being able to flex against the force of gravity and against your own weight. So, I'm going to show you an exercise that will target that and allow you to start doing that.
Secondly, we want to start working on a muscles called the posterior tibialis, right. So what I do is I attached this rubber band here to sort of see its function. And basically it originates here on your tibia, it comes down and attaches right here in our midfoot. So, you can see that this is literally, when this contracts it's holding up the arch. If I were to take this off, you see the arch collapses. So what happens is, a lot of times people have a weakness in this muscle.
They don't have enough strength in this muscle to actually hold up and support the arch. So, if there's a way that we can actually strengthen this posterior tibialis, that would be awesome because we can get this to them hook on again, and it will allow it. Not hook on.
It's always attached, but you know, the function of being able to lift this arch by making it a lot more strong and be able to pull that up. Alright, so first we want to cover that exercise that will help us to get those intrinsic muscles underneath our toes to try to get a little bit stronger. So all I have here, and all you'll need, is a quarter. And you want to take, again, and excuse my ugly feet here. My ugly flat feet. They're like flippers. You want to take the big bone right here at the base of your toe and step on the quarter right at that spot, ok.
So right there. Now, all you're trying to do here is push as hard as you can into the ground with the front of your toes here especially your big toe, and you want to try to do that, and what you're doing is, you're trying to lift up the arch. Again, I've got incredibly flat feet. They basically lay down there as usual. But if I can actually press, you can see I can create a little bit of an arch.
You just want to make sure that you stay in contact with that quarter the entire time because what you'll likely want to do is start rolling off. And if you start rolling off, it either lifts up with you or you lift off the quarter, that's not what you want, ok. So, you want to just get in here in this position again. The quarter's under that toe. You push the toes into the ground. And you're trying to keep, again, your heel stays on the ground, and you're trying to keep that arch as engaged as you possibly can. And it usually is an isometric. You try to hold on to that for about 20, 30 seconds if you can.
Rest, and do it about 4 or 5 times. You try to do that at least 3 or 4 times a week to try to build up a tolerance and a strength in that area. And the second exercise here, we want to go after that posterior tibialis, like I told you just a second ago. Again, the function of that muscle when it's toned, when it's strong, it's going to support that arch. It's going to pull the arch up and give you that arch that maybe you lack right now. So, the way we want to do that is we want to work in this sort of single-leg, standing band rotation drill where you're going to set up with the and anchored somewhere on the outside of the foot that you're trying to train. So, here I'm trying to train my right foot. I've got the band anchored somewhere to the outside of my right side.
And I'm going to just try to pull the band across my body. Really, all you're trying to do is just disturb your balance. So, it doesn't have to be all that smooth, doesn't have to be in a particular direction. And you'll start to see, especially if you have flat feet, that inner side of your foot is going to light up. That posterior tib is going to really light up to try to prevent you from falling off to the side. You'll see that if I were to let the band just pull me at will, it would basically pull me all the way out to my side here. I didn't hurt my foot, and I basically fall off to the right side. To combat that, I've got to use this muscle to try to really work to hold me down in position.
And again, over time, that's going to help to lift your arch. Yeah. It's weird because you're actually trying to flatten it here for the purpose of this exercise, but that's what this muscle will do. When it's strong, it will actually have the support that you need and act as a sling to hold that arch up. So long term is exactly what you want to try to do. Combine this with the intrinsic exercise I showed you before, you could be well on your way to actually combating this without needing any kind of orthotic.
So, there you have it guys. ATHLEANX putting the science back in strength. Again, a little bit in depth here, especially for those guys who are experiencing flat feet. You've got to know about how it's impacting your workouts, and more importantly, hopefully have some weapons in your arsenal to try to combat that. Everything matters, guys, especially when you're going to start looking at the function of strength realizing that everything starts from the ground, and it works it's way up because our whole body is one kinetic chain. If you don't start working on the ground and fixing the stuff that's down there, you're going to have a whole lot of stuff that goes wrong up through the rest of your body. And that's what we're all about here, guys. We're applying physical therapy and some of the advanced training principles to your training to help you get more out of it.
It doesn't have to be flat feet. It can be a whole lot of other things that you're dealing with. The most important thing is if you're attacking them with science behind you, you're going to start seeing faster and better results, and that's what we do with our ATHLEANX Training Program. If you haven't already, head to ATHLEANX.COM right now. Use the exact same training program that I use with top Pro Athletes to get yourself in the best shape of your entire life, and stronger, faster and functioning better than ever before. Alright guys, leave a comment below. If you have flat feet, let me know. And if you found this video helpful, let me know.
And whatever else you'd like to see, just let me know that too because I'll make a video on it, I promise.
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