020919 "Top 5 Exercises for Strengthening your Feet"

Your feet are the energy centers where the connection with Mother Earth begins. Rooted is a term that I use a lot in coaching and no place does it refer to more than with the connection of your feet to the floor. The feet are often underserved and their connection to the the Earth is overlooked. We search for the right shoes like bandaids that can mask underlying problems, pains, and weaknesses. Keeping them strong, healthy and connected to the earth is so important for longevity in life. Lets dive into some of the best exercises to Ive found to keep your tootsies strong!

1. Go barefoot more often.
This is specific exercise has boundless benefits for your health. I must begin with the inherent connection with the earth though. Barefoot walking, running and living puts you in direct connection with the medium which you are walking on. You are able to feel the heat, the cold, the texture of the ground. This is important and overlooked as we disassociate ourselves with the natural world more and more. Feeling the dirt fold in between the toes and the rocks in your heels is wonderful and you should do it more. From a purely kinesthetic perspective, going barefoot allows you to feel your foot strike, feel and adjust where pressure is applied in each step, AND your feet get naturally stronger from doing it. So kick off the shoes and get your feet dirty, its human.

2. Ankle // Calf Raises.
No Meathead I dont mean stacking the weight on at the gym and doing those silly raises for aesthetics. While those may be good for MAYBE something? , Im more concerned about your ankle and achilles health. Standing with your feet 2” apart, shift the weight to the balls of the feet and come all the way up onto your toes. Press your big toe into the flooring hold for a 2 Count. SLOWLY lower the heel tot eh floor, feeling the mid sole as you do it. The eccentric strengthening of the calf and achilles can help ward off tendonitis (something Ive dealt with for years), and build your arch. The ankle can get gummed up just as the wrists can when it comes to daily usage. Tight ankles lead to improper upstream alignment as in the knee and hip so this flexion and extension drill is great to keep things mobile. DO IT BAREFOOT!

3. Single Leg Toe Touches in Warm Ups.
If you have followed me or been coached by me you know that my process each session begins with an awakening of the mind and body. The brain needs to warm up to the sensations felt by each finger, toe, foot and hand. Absolute Strength is a measure of your ability to recruit as many muscles and neurons as possible to complete a lift or task. Single Leg Toes Touches (single leg Deadlift) brings to bear your brain and body connections in its purest form. Standing on one leg find your balance by pulling your big toe backward and rooting the heel into he floor. Engage the core and hinge at the waist with the back flat. The hips should travel backward and upper back remains rigid as you reach down the standing leg to the floor. The key is to wrk with your mobility, dont reach to the floor if your back begins to round and the weight in your foot get thrown off. Perform 8-10 reps of this exercise and then switch legs. Perform 2-3 rounds on each leg and you will be amazed as to how your balance improves.

4.Toe Raises.
The importance of your big toe can not be understated. If you look at our anatomy, the big toe is bigger than the other little buggas for a reason. It was meant to walk on, balance on and grab with. Our toes were a primal set of hands that were used to grab for stability and work with. Stand on two feet with the feet placed directly under the hips. With the weight balanced the ball of the foot and heel , raise the big toes off the ground. Lift them and hold without raising the other digits off the ground. Drop the big toes, press them in the ground and lift the other four toes off the floor. ….Pretty hard eh?? This dexterity is something we should all have if we want strong feet. Practice 10 -15 reps of this exercise and you will feel like your feet got a workout.

5. Massage your feet.
This is a tough one because Im pretty self conscious about my feet. SO if you cannot allow others to do it, then spend 5 minutes each day rubbing your own feet. Rubbing your feet keeps the sensations present for your brain to connect with . From an energy perspective, keeping the foot chakra open is important for grounding and balance in life. Plus, for the amount of strain we put on our feet each day with training, you need to give those suckers some love. Lacrosse balls are a great at home solution !!

Stay strong from head to toe. Keeping your feet strong means that the entire system is supported. I cannot think of any exercise that couldn’t benefit from strong feet. Our roots are in this earth and we should never forget it. Practice each day and leave no holes in your game.
With Love
Programming Notes 9/2-9/6 **This week we back off the intensity and perform at a higher output level on Wednesday and Friday. Monday and Thursday are meant to be very formulaic where I want to see breathing on point and mental control over body. Skills and drills round the week off.
800m Run
10 Lateral Lunges
10 Jumping Air Squats
10 Alternating Knee TO Elbow

Lunge Flow:
-Ankle Roll Outs
-Hamstring Pulses
-Elbow TO Instep + Reach
-Samson Lunge
-Pigeon Stretch
-Down Dog+ Calf Pulses

Aerobic Strength Work:
32 Minute EMOM
A- 10 Dumbbell Bulgarian Split Squats (Each Leg)
B- 6 Dumbbell Devils Press
C- 10 Dumbbell Front Rack Lateral Lunges
D- 6 Dumbbell Bent Row (Each Arm)

8 minute Cruising Pace;
150m Row
20 Rope Skips
5 Burpee Tuck Jumps
10 Wall Squats

Roll Ankles and Calves out for 2 Minutes After Warm Up. Not too much but enough to wake them up and break up any inflammation.

Ballistic Training:
3 X
50 High Knee Rope Skip
*Pull knees Higher than the hip each rep
5 Depth Jumps
*12” box to a 30-42” Box
**Not for Speed.**

5 Rounds for Time;
500m Row
12 Box Jump Overs
24 Wall Ball Shots

400m Run
10 Push Ups
8 Scorpion Stretch
10 Banded Pass Thru
8 Banded Pull Aparts

Jump Rope Prep:
30 Singles
30 Backward Singles
20 High Knee Skips
20 Backward High Knee Skips
15 Jumping jack skips
15 Backward Jumping Jack Skips
10 Double Unders
10 Triple Unders

5 X
12 Bench Press @ Body weight
8 L Sit Pul Ups

6 Minute AMRAP
12 Push Press 95/65
50 Double Unders
12 Kipping Chest to Bar Pull Ups
—Rest 2 Minutes—
6 Minute AMRAP
12 Hang Power Clean 115/75
50 Double Unders
12 Supine Ring Rows (feet elevated on box)

3X :30 @ Each.
-High Knees
-Butt Kickers
-Hip Touches
-Squat Jumps
-Arm Haulers

Aerobic Strength Work:
Set a 50 Minute Clock,
**Perform work at talking pace
**Complete as many reps as possible in time
400m Air Runner
20 GHD Sit Up
50 Cal Row
10 D Ball Cleans 150/100
100’ D Ball Carry

500m Row
10 Leg Swings
10 Single Leg Toe Touches
10 Cherry Pickers
10 Banded Pass Thru

Snatch Warm up:
7@ Each
-Snatch Deadlift
-Snatch High Pull
-Muscle Snatch
-Behind Neck Press
-Overhead Squat
-Snatch Balance

Snatch Complex:
Every :90 for 8 Total
3 Snatch Deadlifts
1 Pausing Hang Squat Snatch (Below Knee)
3 Overhead squat

8 Minute AMRAP
Snatch 135/95
Bar Facing Burpee