Feet, alignment and Pilates
Your foot has 25+ bones, in addition to many ligaments, tendons and a multitude of nerve endings. Pilates pays particular attention to feet for a good reason. Your foot is a brilliantly designed mechanism that allows us to move, balance and provides us with sensory awareness to where we are in space. If anything happens to your foot, or it becomes less than optimal due to neglect and lack of mobilisation, this will translate through your whole body.
Our body is held together by bundles and ‘trains’ of connective tissue, generally known as fascia. Fascia includes ligaments and tendons, and runs through and around your muscles, providing a network of support and feedback. These bundles of tissues form ‘anatomy trains’. One of the key anatomy trains is your ‘deep front line’: it lifts the foot arch, stabilises legs, supports the lumbar spine, stabilises the chest and allows for deep and relaxed breathing. It runs from the bottom of your foot and finishes by wrapping around your skull. Creating a communication relay from the tip of your toes to the top of your head. Hence an injury in your foot can translate through your body, affecting your step, throwing your knee or hip out, and possibly creating disfunction in your spine right up to the alignment of your head!
This is why we pay so much attention to your feet in Pilates as it can affect so much in your body. A strong flexible foot will help get, and keep the rest of your body in balance.
What can you do to keep your feet fit?
- Take your shoes off, wiggle your toes and walk around with out shoes. Taking a bare foot walk on the beach is great! (Just in time for summer!)
- You can massage your foot with your hand, mobilising the joints and stretching the toes.
- Standing up ,carefully rolling a tennis ball back and forward under your foot, using your body weight to ‘squeeze’ the ball under the sole of your foot.
- Play Piano Toes: lift one toe at a time, starting from your little toe to big toe and then reverse.
- Get a massage.
- Come to Pilates!
Without good foot function it is almost impossible to gain good body function.
As the song ‘Dem Bones’ goes:
The toe bone's connected to the foot bone,
The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone,
The ankle bone's connected to the leg bone,
Want to know more about Pilates, foot exercises and how your body connects? SEND US AN EMAIL Our team of professionally trained Pilates instructors are always happy to help.
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Ref: Thomas Myers: Anatomy Trains: Common Myofascial Pathways for transmitting stability and compensation