19 muscles and tendons
and 107 ligaments?
And because you have two feet, DOUBLE that number...
Now, think about how much time you spend on your feet....
Almost zero, right?
That's ALOT of neglect for all of those bones, joints, ligaments, muscles and tendons!
Our feet are obviously important for standing, walking, running and jumping, but they also serve an extremely important role in balance and coordination, as well as shock absorption and even alignment.
It's actually quite easy to incorporate more foot-focused-fitness into your Pilates workout.
In Part I, we'll focus exercises that target the role of the feet in balancing.
With 19 muscles and tendons in each foot, once you get those guys active and engaged, they can do wonders for balance! Here are some exercises you can do for yourself and/or your clients at your Pilates studio and also at home
Stand on an unstable surface such as a balance cushion, rebounder, a "dyna disk" (harder) or the dome side of a BoSu (hardest)
Stand on both feet and feel the weight going balanced between the heels and the toes
- Bend and Straighten the Knees
Stand on one leg and keep the weight balanced on that foot
- Bend and Straighten the Knee
- Focus on the balance STARTING in the feet, not in the bigger muscles around the hip and even the knee
- Increase difficulty by standing on a balance cushion
- As in the above exercise, focus on the balance originating in the feet, with a strong connection to the floor
In bare feet, first stand on both feet and spread the toes wide.... feel a line of energy shooting down through the soles of the feet. A good image here is to think of each foot as its own tripod, with one point in the center of the heel, and two additional points equidistant from one another on the ball of the foot.
Then, shift the weight to one foot, and try to balance with the same imagery in mind, focusing on the feet. Switch legs.