Workout of the Day

Wheels

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Imagine a brand new, top of the line Ferrari. Nice, right? Now imagine this car equipped with Walmart-brand budget tires slapped on some skinny 13” rims off of an old Geo Metro. All the horsepower and racing suspension in the world won’t make this a high-performance car.

As athletes, our feet (and hands, but that’s for another post) are our wheels and tires. They are what connect us to the ground, allow us to transfer our horsepower (strength, power, speed) into movement, and act as our base for any standing and many non-standing movements we encounter in and out of the gym. And in the same way that a set of cheap tires on skinny 13” rims are going to make a brand new Ferrari perform no better than your average midsize sedan, a weak, dysfunctional, untrained, neglected set of feet are going to leave you injured and bleeding out performance all over the place. This is true particularly in sports and endeavors that require change of direction, power transfer, speed, and endurance.

And while your feet may be analogous to a set of wheels on a car, the fact is that they actually do far more than our analogy lets on. Not only do they connect you to the ground, they also generate power, influence limb position, absorb impact, store energy, and more. With as much as we put our feet through, they deserve some care and attention.

Here are a few ways to take care of your feet and keep them running optimally for all of your life and performance needs.

> Train them - We spend hours upon hours training our hips, legs, shoulders, core, and arms, and most of us never take a moment to focus on strengthening our feet. It may seem like a novel idea to train your feet, but they should be addressed no differently than the rest of our body. Improve strength in good positions, train through full ranges of motion, progress the training stimulus, and your feet will improve. There are countless resources online for exercises to train your feet and correct dysfunction.

> Mobility and tissue health - Range of motion, tissue health, and posture/position are all matters that merit our attention in our feet just as much as in our shoulders, hips, knees, etc. Ensure that your feet (and ankles) can move through a full range of motion without pain or dysfunction, and keep up on maintaining this range of motion and tissue health with soft-tissue work and range of motion exercises. Resources such as mobilitywod.com provide more than enough information on keeping your feet healthy, functional, and pain-free.

> Shoes - Shoes should allow feet to perform as feet, not restrict them or completely change their anatomical function. Ditch the high-heeled shoes, the restrictive and overbuilt “corrective/supportive” shoes, and the 24/7 flip flops. Go barefoot whenever possible. Look for shoes that have zero heel-toe drop, flexible sole and upper, and a wide toe box to allow for your feet to splay freely and naturally. There are, of course, situations in which specialized footwear can be of benefit, but the ultimate goal should be working towards strong, functional, and self-sufficient feet that can perform optimally and not rely upon footwear to hold them together. If you’re new to minimal shoes, ease into it and go slow! Your feet will need to (re)learn how to function like a foot if you’ve been encasing them in restrictive footwear for years.

Don’t neglect your feet. After all, you only have one pair, and they do a whole lot for you.

- PS


6/26/17

  • 4 rounds for quality

    • 12 hollow rocks

    • 6 max height standing jumps

  • With a continuously running clock, 5 rounds

    • 1 min max rope climbs

    • 1 min max pistols

    • 1 min max hand-release push-ups