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Garrett Smith
12-01-2008, 09:00 AM
http://www.biggerfasterstronger.com/uploads2/08_JanFeb_FlatFeet.pdf

I like how the excessively supportive shoes are addressed.

Gant Grimes
12-01-2008, 09:30 AM
Nice article. I have some of these issues.

Allen Yeh
12-01-2008, 10:03 AM
Interesting article. I wish he had listed a resource for postural insoles? A quick google lookup doesn't help much. I used to use smartfeet insoles a few years ago but ditched them after switching to the Free shoes.

I tried out the exercise in figure 4 and noticed that I'm at the moment completely unable to only lift up my big toe, it's either all my toes or none of them. That seems to be a problem.

Not sure about the calf raises and such, I gave these up a long time ago and I've always had pretty large/strong calves anyway. I might give them a go barefoot with no load.

Stretching....yes I need to stretch my calves more. I was going to start using what Kelly Starret said in this blog post:

http://sanfranciscocrossfit.blogspot.com/2008/11/your-calves-are-tight-bro.html

Garrett Smith
12-01-2008, 10:59 AM
Allen, don't worry about just the big toe, lift them all up if you have to in the beginning.

I would think a combination of Vibram 5Fingers, Barefoot Science (http://www.barefootscience.com/usa/) insoles, that big toe exercise, and hip flexor + hamstring + calf stretching would be just the ticket. Oh yeah, and ditching the super-high-technology running shoes with the elevated cushy heels...

Jumping rope, either barefoot or in VFFs, should take care of any of the issues the calf raises were supposed to address, IMO.

And let us not forget the foot drills...

Donald Lee
12-02-2008, 05:38 PM
After reading the article, I realized that my left foot is somewhat flat footed. I think it's because my left leg is almost half an inch longer than my right leg, so my left leg compensates by internally rotating. I also tend to walk with my toes pointed outwards. Some people have said I have a bit of a waddle.

The big toe raise is especially hard on my left foot. I'm guessing doing the exercise is going to be good for me, but I'm wondering if there is a "fix." I don't think the exercises will be able to counteract the fact that my left leg is longer.

Craig Brown
12-02-2008, 09:47 PM
The knee bent part to hit your soleus is a huge help. My ART guy showed me that.

(from Kelly's post)

Garrett Smith
12-03-2008, 06:09 AM
Donald,
A rotated pelvis (for whatever reason) is more typically the cause of what many perceive as a "short" leg.

Working on your foot/arch, starting from the ground up, will be a great way to start examining the issue more deeply.

Strong muscles can help buffer a lot of things in the body. I'd give it an honest shot.

Donald Lee
12-03-2008, 12:41 PM
The chiropractor that I saw a couple of times suggested a stretch for me that seems to rotate my pelvis, but I'm skeptical as to whether it'll fix anything.

My whole body is disproportionate. My left leg is longer, my left foot is longer, my left hand is bigger, my left arm is longer, my left ear is higher, my left chest bone protrudes more, etc. So I'm skeptical as to whether the many other possible reasons for a perceived longer leg are actually the case.

I just hope being disproportionate doesn't cause problems down the road. X-rays already showed that my cervical spine is tilted toward the right, and my lumbar is also tilted toward the right. I'm guessing that's a result of the longer leg and not a cause???

Anyways, thanks for the input.

Garrett Smith
12-03-2008, 01:12 PM
Donald,
You should look into getting your leg length issue thoroughly evaluated and see if a heel lift is called for, if you truly have a long leg.

Donald Lee
12-03-2008, 02:23 PM
What type of practictioner would I see for something like that? And would a heel lift be like orthotics?

I'm waiting for my VFF's to arrive, so I'd hate to not be able to feel the ground.

Garrett Smith
12-03-2008, 03:23 PM
Try your VFFs for a while, see how things go after that. Make sure to respect the "break-in" period, don't wear them too much to start.

A heel lift is not like hard orthotics, the ones I used were softer rubber, but it wouldn't work with your VFFs.

If I were in your situation and deciding to explore the heel lift route further, I'd try to find a chiropractor with orthopedic training.
http://www.dcorthoacademy.com/

Donald Lee
12-03-2008, 04:50 PM
Thanks for the input.

Robert Johnson
12-04-2008, 10:39 AM
What if one foot is flat and the other isn't? I couldn't work out why, until I noticed if I straighten both legs and let the feet hang, the left (not-flat) foot points inwards so it rests on the outer edge of the foot, and the right (flat) foot points outwards, like a normal flat foot.

So the feet look like /./ - with the . being the body, looking from above.

So if my left foot is put into the proper position, pointing fowards, my shin points left, because the shin and foot only keep just in line if I hold considerable muscle tension in my ankle/calf, otherwise the foot points to the right again... I had not noticed this before. I think it is related to poor rehab of the right foot, i.e not using it for months.

What can I do? Walk around forcing the foot, shin and thigh into line? Keep doing static holds? - I noticed if I keep the leg totally straight and move the foot, the shin cannot rotate at all, in relation to the thigh so it is easier to hold the foot straight. Anything else?

(It's normal for the shin to be able to rotate a bit, in the knee joint, right?)

Also, hello, this is my first post, I have learnt a lot from this place already.

Garrett Smith
12-04-2008, 12:44 PM
Robert,
Try the other advice given in this thread initially. Give it a couple months of solid work, then report back. Simple stuff first.

Robert Johnson
12-05-2008, 02:12 AM
I tried the toe up and rotate the hips movement, after holding the foot pointing forwards for a few hours. The foot sank down instead of resting on the outer edge. So I am pleased I have two flat feet and not one abnormal ankle.

Grissim Connery
12-05-2008, 08:44 AM
cool article. i agree with jumping rope instead of calf raises. i like how he stresses the calf work and then right afterwards, there's a massive ad for a calf machine.

one thing that has helped my lower legs immensely is the toe balance from yoga. generally if you're not doing it right, then your ankle flexors will burn out after a minute and you can't hold the pose at all. doing it single legged (like a pistol but on your forefoot) will really let you know how coordinated you are in that area. i feel that a lot of people stress pushing from the heel without ever giving attention to the forefoot. i noticed a lot of physical benefits when i gave more attention to this issue. i feel that really important movement is the transition from heel to forefoot and vice versa while squatted. if any knee pain exists or the muscles of the lower leg burn out, then it's probably worth drilling.

Neal Winkler
12-09-2008, 12:27 PM
I don't have flat feet, but how would one test for less than optimal foot arch?

Garrett Smith
12-09-2008, 12:33 PM
Neal,
I don't know of a specific test, but foot arch is pretty well addressed in the free portion of this book...click on the book cover that says "Look Inside!" on this page (http://www.egwellness.com/products/products.html), I believe the arch portion is towards the end.

Allen Yeh
12-19-2008, 06:06 AM
The chiropractor that I saw a couple of times suggested a stretch for me that seems to rotate my pelvis, but I'm skeptical as to whether it'll fix anything.

My whole body is disproportionate. My left leg is longer, my left foot is longer, my left hand is bigger, my left arm is longer, my left ear is higher, my left chest bone protrudes more, etc. So I'm skeptical as to whether the many other possible reasons for a perceived longer leg are actually the case.

I just hope being disproportionate doesn't cause problems down the road. X-rays already showed that my cervical spine is tilted toward the right, and my lumbar is also tilted toward the right. I'm guessing that's a result of the longer leg and not a cause???

Anyways, thanks for the input.

Donald I was looking through some old blog posts on Dave Drapers site and thought this might be of some use for you:

http://davedraper.com/blog/2008/09/10/what-is-an-elevated-hip/

Donald Lee
12-21-2008, 12:37 AM
Donald I was looking through some old blog posts on Dave Drapers site and thought this might be of some use for you:

http://davedraper.com/blog/2008/09/10/what-is-an-elevated-hip/

I'll definitely start stretching my QL on the elevated side and do side planks on my normal side.

I find that what was written about the glute activation to be the opposite for me. I have glute activation problems on my elevated side because of tight hip flexors on that side.

I definitely don't want to end up having surgery like Dave Draper. Thanks for the link.

Scott Clark
12-21-2008, 04:02 PM
Excellent read, good find.