Foot Rehab w/ Brian Mackenzie

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Your feet are your primary connection to the ground. The arch of your foot is a natural occurrence that every human has. If you’ve been told you have “flat feet”, you do not. Instead, you have one of the following:

  • feet that don’t really work
  • stiff non-working tissue
  • hips that don’t have a connection to the feet (stability)
  • or (gasp) all of the above

Each of these can be fixed. The problem is that most people do not want to fix things like this, or they do not understand that they are, indeed, fixable. There are several ways to handle the rehabilitation process through exercises and general movement understanding.

Having weak feet is not okay. You were designed to have very strong feet! By way of shoes, sitting, and general lack of moving, we have, quite literally, destroyed this connection to the ground. When you don’t properly feel the ground, you pound the ground. When you pound the ground, you get injured. Your beautiful designer shoes (specially equipped with a nice cushion) have masked your movement faults by providing a temporary relief for you from the disfunction you have in mobility. So what do you do? You kick your shoes off as much as you can, and/or you start spending time working on your feet daily! 5-10 minutes a day is all you need to help lengthen the heel chord (achilles tendon) and open that paw up. Before you know it, you’ll have developed a better working foot that creates a proper connection to the ground. This, in turn, will have you moving in a much more efficient manner in a very short period of time.

Learn how to start rehabing your feet via the posts below.

*Photo courtesy of MARK BARROSO of Muscle & Fitness



Next time you run, do some barefoot intervals on grass or soft surface to reinforce a positive foot experience.

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The greatest diagnostic tool in exercise/fitness/sport. #Squat #FootRehab – if you can't load your hips you can't create the necessary stability in your feet. Observe the arch in the foot in bottom of squat (through entire squat). This is because I've properly loaded my hips. This is a must for any sport especially #Running or #Rowing. Broken arch, no hips. Retrain you hips by screwing your feet into ground and following the simple steps I've been laying out on this #FootRehab tag. This also provides a stable knee (knees out que) and will remove the notorious butt wink if stability in hip is maintained. A butt wink is never ok! Watch any powerlifter… It won't happen. Nor will it happen in children under the age of 5, who've yet to be ruined in improper footwear. #UnbreakableRunner @athleticrecon @athletecell @unscaredinc

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#FootRehab – Arch Check, 1, 2, 3! Have you been told you have "flat feet"? Do you have low arches? Do you wear arch support, or orthotics? Take your shoes off, get barefoot and perform the following. Feet underneath hips, screw your feet into the ground while keeping toes (big toe especially) on ground. Hold the end position (where I have a high arch, and yes even you people w/ little or no arch can do this) for at least :30, of not longer. Repeat the cycle until you've accumulated a fair amount of time (1-5min)*. Then make sure you mobilize your feet and ankles. This position is your loading position for just about any movement requiring you to use your feet and hips. The problem is, we have rarely reinforced this position vs the position where you can see my arches start to collapse. Whether this is a squat, jump, deadlift, running, rowing, cycling (YES! Valgus knee in cycling is not a positive thing, ever), etc it all applies. The option and opinion of "this is how I naturally move" is dead, and for great reason… We are no longer using our hips and feet the way they have evolved to move, instead we have masked our dysfunction & feelings with sweet soft things to aide in our dysfunction, all the while avoiding the fact of universal position. Not everyone will develop an arch like mine, and some will have much better arches than I will. The fact is this, you don't have flat feet, you have a foot that has so much more potential… And it most likely will stave you from foot, knee, or hip surgery in your later years of you start learning how to use them. Look at it as a game you need to play for the next 3-6 months. And please, tag me in your progress!!!! *Note: if your feet start to cramp, you're done. This is a great sign that your feet are starting to work, and forcing them any further to work can just lead to overloaded tissue that will have you dealing with more mobility issues than you want. Progress is key!

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#Footrehab & runnings greatest asset… The Jump Rope! In past posts I've addressed how to use the foot. This video starts off by showing you how I wind up prior to jumping rope. You will notice immediately as I start to jump rope my knees stay in a stable position wound up from my hip to my foot. We will see the gross majority of people jumping rope with collapsed feet, and knees banging. This is just another poor habit we are ingraining into our jumping and landing positions. The Rx here is simple… Start with a max effort learning to wind up first then stop and reset. Repeat this for 3-5 sets to start a few times per week. When you can reach 5-10 min of single or double (for the superheroes) jump ropes then it's time to transition to the second phase of this video. Notice as I make that transition from simple single jump ropes to running in place nothing is changing with my feet, knees or hips as I land. Repeat this same process for Rx as you did with the singles/doubles working for 5-10 minutes at a time. This is a 2-4 week program vested at redeveloping your feet and mechanics with dynamic movement. This can also be used to improve any running your about to start doing as you will ingrain all the necessary landing and mechanical advantages for running. No runner should be without a jump rope as you can always just run with the rope! @athletecell @athleticrecon @3fu3l @unscaredinc #run #crossfit #CrossFitEndurance

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#RunningSkill and the #JumpRope this is also advanced #footrehab shizz…. 1. Establish running position. 2. Hold this position and start to jump rope with your support leg. 3 every 5th hop switch to other foot and immediately back to original support foot. 4. Rx: 3 sets of 10 alternating each support foot. The idea is to absorb and return bodyweight through the tension/stability of your body. If you're feeling your body push you are not stable and are missing the more efficient process of elasticity. This is something that can be used in any drill situation or to just develop a higher level of coordination with your running. Keep the statement in mind… "Speed and Take Risks" because this is exactly where skill lives and allows drills like this to help materialize a better performing you!

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#FootRehab – watch the first rotation and you will see a loss of stability as my heel drops and I look for end range in my knee (lock out), the second rotation I use a stable ankle which allows for me to generate more force and doesn't allow for an end range of the knee. This is important for people who actually ride an @assaultairbike or similar and or ride a lot (cyclists) because when fatigue sets in this becomes a scary alternative. If you've ever experienced calf pain after riding, this is probably why. If you get Plantar Fasciitis and you ride this is probably why as well. You are loading up all the tissue incorrectly. A simple fix like this can change issues that have been going on and video is the easiest way, especially when fatigued. The idea is that we mobilize for maximum ROM of ankle as the longer the tissue is the stronger it is in its stable position (second rotation). This is true of all joints and their surrounding tissue. If we can not stabilize in a dynamic position we will pick up slack by creating more contraction out of the closest joints surround tissue (first rotation, the attempt at end range) = inefficient. Just another reason to strength train and understand mechanics of "Endurance" sports.

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#footrehab w/ @themarcpro plus Top L: pads on Soleus / Arch of foot Top R: pads on Tib Ant. / junction of lateral-ant ankle (where the meat is) – middle of Ext digi. Bottom R: start Top L pads only on high (intensity 7-9) for <10 sec, turn down to zero, Start Top R pads on high (intensity 7-9) for <10sec. Repeat 5-7 sets for both in this fashion. Switch to Low setting and run both (intensity 7-9) for 10-20 min at same time to flush. We are stimulating the muscles of he foot front and rear that are rarely used by we shoe enthusiasts. This followed along with the other exercises outlined in the #footrehab hashtag will greatly help with this series along with the stuff @mobilitywod and I have put out on the feet.

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