Why So Much Short Foot

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We’re about 2 weeks into our 8 week “Squatty Potty” block. Some of you might have noticed a change in your ability to squat. Some of you undoubtedly are trying to figure out the method to the madness. I’m here to shed some light on the question of why for the programing.

Our warmups for the remainder of the block are going to increase in complexity. These first two weeks, we’ve been introducing everyone to some of the foundational concepts that will be the basis of the more complex patterns.

Closest to the ground is the “Janda Short Foot” drill. Beside having a potentially mispronounced name*, the short foot drill is our first movement drill that will build into your virtuosity as a person who squats.

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We’ve been coaching you to shorten the distances between the base of your big toe, your pinky toe, and your heel. The goal of this drill is to teach you how to activated the musculature that builds the tension in the arches of your foot.

When you squat, we want you to have a firm base of support. The short foot drill is one way of building a strong foot, and a firm support.

Who should be doing the short foot drill? Everyone.

For those of you who have been wearing cradle like, cushioned shoes for the majority of your life, you’ll benefit from making your feet stronger. For those of you in the minimalist camp, the short foot drill will help strengthen and harden your feet (it’s not the shoes). And for those of us who run around barefoot for most of the day, that added strength and work on the arches will help set the foundation for strength and resiliciency.

How often to do them? As often as you remember. I’m doing it right now as I type.

Pulse through the short foot drill a few times when you think about it. You don’t need to go to fatigue in a single set. The muscles in your feet have to have strength endurance. They need to hold position and provide spring like resilience throughout the day.

It’s difficult to express power and strength on weak feet, so make your feet strong.

*(Dr. Vladimir Janda was a physiotherapist in Czechoslovakia and then The Czech Republic, if you’re curious)