Technique, technique, technique

Posted on April 22, 2011

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Every exercise – or movement for that matter – you do is a chance to work on the pain you may be suffering from.

Quick way to illustrate this point: Below is a video of a client doing a plank. This client has had on and off foot pain for the past year or so.

Ok, so foot pain and doing a plank, i.e. an exercise typically considered an ab exerice, where’s the connection?

Check it out:

If you look at the left foot you can see the overpronation occuring. Both feet are actually too pronated but the left foot is much more pronounced. Not coincidentally, the left foot is predominantly where this client has been experiencing her foot pain.

For those curious in the anatomy: As seen in the video this person’s feet are everted (turned outward; pronated) too much meaning the muscles that invert (turn inward; supinate) the foot are weak. These muscles are the gastroc and soleus (calves), and the flexor digitorum longus.


Simply telling this client to turn her feet inward, or to raise up on her toes more (which will activate the supinators more), will take care of the overpronation.

So, not only is a plank an ab exercise for this client, but it’s also a chance to work on the issues she is having around the foot and ankle. Namely by strengthening the supinators.

Point being: It’s important to consider the entire body in just about every exercise (and movement) you do. Just because it’s an exercise for body part X doesn’t mean body part Z isn’t being affected. Technique, technique, technique.

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