I know I know… boring! Who wants to talk about the importance of foot stability?
Welp… anyone who is serious about their safety and performance when it comes to lifting weights should be intrigued by this.
They Are Used For So Much:
For any exercise where we are using our feet to stabilize our body or weight, our foot stability is vital to safety and performance.
Whenever we are stabilizing ourselves and or weight, our feet are the foundation. They are what is in contact with the floor/ground and that’s what we’re standing on. When our feet move too far to one side (rolling out or caving in), the rest of our body will follow and must adapt.
Let’s take the classic knees caving in the squat example. Sure, this can be due to poor stability at the knees, or a lot of the time it is caused by poor stability at the lateral hip.
However, the position of our feet is often overlooked. If our feet cave in, that adjusts the position of our shin bones, and therefore the position of our knee. Not to mention, it puts weight towards that caved position, which influences the knee to follow.
If our feet are rolled too far out, the same thing applies. Our knees will likely follow.
Both positions are unwanted and will put strain and stress on the knees which can, over time, lead to injury. If you’re lifting a ton of weight it might not even need to be a longer process. Sometimes things just happen quickly.
If we keep even balance on 3 points of our foot (ball of the big toe, pinkie toe and heel), that lays a strong foundation for our body to work on top of. This will help keep joints and bones in proper alignment which will allow that to translate all the way up our body.
The other thing to consider with foot stability is how it impacts our performance. There are two primary ways in which poor foot stability will negatively impact our performance, and therefore, how good foot stability will positively impact our performance.
First, let’s talk about energy leaks. If your feet are moving around on the eccentric or concentric of a squat or deadlift, you’ll be losing force that you’re pushing into the floor to move the weight. Therefore, your muscles need to work more to move the weight. So you’ll be using energy to compensate for energy leaks, instead of using energy to better your performance.
Another thing to consider is how poor foot stability affects mechanics. We discussed caving knees already. Well, when your knees cave, not only is that an energy leak, but it makes your hips work a lot more to keep whatever stability they can. They’re being forced to minimize knee cave instead of maintaining knee position to help drive through/move the weight efficiently.
I would also think there would be some balance issues at play. One side of your hip compensates more than the other, now your core needs to overcompensate to balance you. Maybe the bar is off-balance now.
If your feet are stable, it puts your knees and the rest of your body in a position that allows them to stay in alignment and keep balance/stability.
It is a chain reaction and it all starts at the feet.
Well, everyone, that’s what I got! Those are the reasons for keeping your feet stable! Not just in the squat and deadlift, but in all exercises that require us to stabilize on our feet. Not only will foot stability help with safety, but efficiency as well!
If you have any questions or comments, please do leave them in the comment section below and I will be sure to reply!
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Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for the use of this information after reading.