My Hips and Feet are Connected?!

The foot is our base to our body and our direct connection to the world. But many people find themselves having foot problems or just do simply not know how to care for and control their feet. Well if you have feet, you need to learn how your hips directly affect your feet. The musculature around the hips (the glutes) helps rotate the lower extremity outward (we call it external rotation). Learning how to activate these muscles in the hips while the feet are on the ground will actually help the feet become stronger.

As PT’s, we see weakness in the external rotators of the hips quite often, and this weakness in the hips is often in combination with poor arch control or flat feet. It is important to note that foot shape alone does not dictate whether they are weak or inactive. However, the glutes can assist the intrinsic musculature of the foot to activate. Here’s how: 

  1. Stand with your feet underneath your hips barefoot on the floor. 
  2. Slightly sit your hips back and create a slight bend in the knees – this is a small hinge position. 
  3. Start by gripping the ground lightly with your feet – think suction cupping your foot to the ground. (you should already feel some activation on the bottom of your foot with this technique). If you don’t feel it here, no worries…. Here’s where the hips come in. 
  4. Without letting your feet move, think about rotating or “corkscrewing”  your feet into the ground by driving your knees outward toward the side edges of your feet. 
  5. You should see your arches rise. Be careful not to rotate the knees out too far where the base of your big toe comes off the ground. Then relax the knees. 

By rotating your knees out, you activate the glute and the intrinsic muscles of the foot in conjunction with one another.

Check out our social media posts and videos of some other activities to help activate your feet and glutes together!

Best 4 Exercises to Prevent Decline with Age

“Aging is not lost youth but a new stage of opportunity and strength.”
We all age a little bit every day. Getting older is just a fact of life, but the rate of decline in our physical and mental health depends on our daily choices. Are you active, or do you spend most of your free time on the couch? Do you lift weights, or do you have a hard time lifting your groceries? Are you setting yourself up for a happy future or a struggle?

 

One of the most noticeable side effects of aging is loss of muscle mass, which can ultimately lead to a decline in functional activities. Signs of shrinking muscles include avoiding stairs, having to use walls and furniture for balance, and being unable to comfortably get on and off the floor. In this blog post are four easy but essential exercises to keep your lower body, trunk, and upper body strong enough to tackle anything you need to do as you get older!

 

Exercises:

 

A general guideline used in strength training is to train major muscle groups 3-5x per week. This means to do these four exercises at least 3x throughout the week.  4 sets of 8-15 reps of each exercise have shown to be the most versatile in gaining muscle strength and endurance.

 

Depending on your fitness levels, you may notice changes after a few weeks, or you may need more resistance and an increase in exercise volume to see noticeable changes.  You can always add resistance by using weights or resistance bands with some of these exercises. However, body weight exercise is better than no exercise at all! The great thing about these 4 simple exercises is they require almost no equipment except for a chair and a wall!

 

If you need more help maintaining mobility, inquire about our virtual classes or virtual 1 on 1 physical therapy and wellness services (exercise training also available!) Call (619) 260-0750 today!