Rearfoot & Midfoot Mobility & Stability Exercises

Rearfoot & Midfoot Mobility & Stability Exercises

Demonstrated in this post is a sample ankle/foot mobility and stability exercise with progressions of the stability exercise. . Why does mobility and stability in this region matterโ‰๏ธย Think of the first thing that touches the ground when you walk, your footโ€ผ๏ธย How well your foot/ankle can move, and stabilize movement, can affect motion and alignment all the way up the kinetic chain. When we evaluate people in person, even if their pain is felt in their back, hip, or knee, it is always important to check out the foot/ankle.   So what is the rearfoot and midfootโ‰๏ธย The rearfoot (back of the foot) is compromised of the subtalar and talocrural joints, which includes the calcaneus and talus bones as well as the muscles/tendons/ligaments of this region. The talocrural joint is responsible for ankle dorsiflexion/plantarfexion while the subtalar joint is responsible for calcaneal inversion/eversion.   The midfoot is in between the rearfoot and forefoot and is compromised of multiple bones (navicular, cuboid, the cuneiforms) as well as the muscles, tendons, ligaments. More importantly the midfoot is where the arch of the foot is located.   Why this mobility exerciseโ‰๏ธย Rotating your upper body and hips side-to-side helps to promote coupled motion at the foot (pronation and supination). This is very important motion to have at the ankle/foot as having a mobile foot can help dampen forces as well as promote stability up the chain.   Why this stability exercise + progressionsโ‰๏ธย The split stance position is excellent as it challenges the ankle/foot in the sagittal and frontal plane, depending how narrow your feet are. Adding the upper body movements depicted here challenges stability further in the frontal and transverse planesโ€ผ๏ธย Adding the unstable surfaces helps to increase the challenge as well as promote reactive/postural control at the foot/ankle complexโ€ผ๏ธ
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