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Foot Stretch to Unlock Your Feet

Foot Mobility Drill to Help You Lift More Weight

While there are many ways to attack limitations in range of motion and fluidity of the foot and ankle, the strategies that unlock these restrictions can be best described as a multi-faceted approach. Why is trying to facilitate better foot movement quality important?

Well, for strength training and transferring tension and forces, obtaining a tripod foot (big toe, little toe, and heel) with an ‘active arch’ will provide a better ‘anchoring’ to the ground to engage ground-based multi-joint compound exercises, such as deadlifts and squats. This is a fancy way of saying, if I can get better contact with the ground, and I have good range of motion at my ankle while actively gripping the ground with my foot, I can generate more tension through the entire kinetic chain to engage the goal movement pattern with the greatest amount of mechanical tension.

What are the strategies most-often used when trying to unlock and strengthen the feet and ankles:

1. Barefoot warm-ups and training,
2. Multi-directional ankle mobility drills (to drive eversion, inversion, plantar flexion, dorsiflexion,
3. Toe extension drills to drive range of motion,
4. Dorsiflexion drills to range of motion
5. Soft-tissue quality drills for the plantar fascia and achilles,
6. Foot strengthening drills, including grabbing marbles, towel grabs, walking on balls of your feet, etc.,
7. The often forgotten need for SMR on the calves and plantar fascia.

And NOW, we have a new category to consider to aid in our foot anchoring strategies – Flexion arc of the instep!

Here is a drill that will help stretch the tibialis anterior and instep of your foot. I use this drill in my pre-squat warm-ups and can immediately feel a difference with my ability to settle the weight on my back INTO the tripod foot, prior to performing the very first repetition.

To perform, simply setup in quadruped (hands and knees), rock back and place one knee on top of the opposite side bottom of your foot. Then, while driving the instep into the ground with your knee, pull that same side knee off the ground creating an arc globally across the entire instep of the foot. The stretch is incredible and will feel amazing!

Key Coaching Point – when putting the knee on the bottom of the foot, try to get the knee right below your heel. This will ensure you get the maximum amount of arc across the entire instep.

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By on January 20th, 2020


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Comment (1)

  1. Posted by - Bill Long on January 20, 2020

    Thanks Smitty I really need to incorporate this to strengthen my feet and ankles.

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