Are you ready?
Ok, here goes… roll out and move your feet.
And to be clear, this doesn’t mean you are broken, or that you have pain, or possibly even that you will ever have pain!
But doesn’t it make sense, in a non-panic-stricken, non-fear-based way, to give your body as much strong, conscious, mindful, sustainable movement as you can? I think so!
And if you DO have pain or discomfort, let’s try to change that in ways that YOU control!
Ok, let’s break this down a bit.
Here, my feet are just resting on the ground in my habitual stance.
My feet are slightly turned out and my knees and femurs (thigh bones) are slightly turned in.
Looks pretty regular, every day positioning, right?
Let’s see what happens when I straighten my feet and remove the turn out that helps to absorb some of my foot tension, and facilitate my feet meeting the flat ground.
See how I’m more internally rotated?
When I externally rotate my femurs to neutral (indicated by the ligaments in the back of my knees pointing straight back as we discussed in the last newsletter) so that I can get better purchase for my hip and leg muscles, I also improve the relationship between my upper and lower legs.
But there’s a catch…
If we bring our legs around to neutral AND keep our feet planted on the floor we create a potentially nasty torque at… you guessed it… the knee joints.
If I let my feet relax and follow the spiral from my hips all the way to the ground, I have strength in my legs, stability for my knees, and I reveal the tension in my feet that those other joints have to accommodate ALL THE TIME!
Clearly, this isn’t how you’re going to move around in the world! But it’s a fascinating way to explore your body relationships.
(This is also a spectacular argument for pliable, minimalist shoes and lots of time on natural terrain. Always being on flat level ground in stiff shoes isn’t adding to the resilience of your feet. But that’s a subject for later.
Although we started this little journey with the hip joints and muscles, we’re actually getting to the heart of your hip and knee issues by getting down to the ground.
I’m the owner of Boomerang Pilates and creator of the Move SMART program. I teach teachers how to incorporate sustainable movement and authentic teaching in their classes.