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Posted by sandy h. on 2/17/04 at 01:06 (144445)

Just to follow up on the pilates link. There are no pilates exercises for the feet as far as I know but try this experiment: Stand up and slouch, which your shoulders hunched forwards and your stomach out. Look at your feet. Now 1) move your shoulders slightly back and down, push your ribs down towards your spine. 2) tilt your pelvis a bit upwards by squeezing the muscle you use to hold your pee in and clenching your bum a bit. Now look at your feet. They should turn out a bit and there should be more of an arch formed. Now do you see how it is an exercise for the feet. I'll leave teaching you how to do it to a teacher but you'll get the point about why posture is important for feet. Once you know the exercises you can do them at home. I have been doing them for a while and they definitely help.

Re: pilates

Julie on 2/17/04 at 01:51 (144446)

Thanks for your post, Sandy. Yes, posture is very important for the feet. Good posture actually begins with the feet: they are our foundation. When our weight isn't evenly balanced between the heels and the balls of the feet, and on the outside and inside edges of the feet, the pelvis will be thrown out of position, with adverse effects on the lower back, hips and knees (and our breathing, but that's another story).

The reverse is also true. When your pelvis is poorly positioned, i.e. when it isn't held upright and centred, but tipped forward (very common and producing a 'sway' back) your weight will be tipped forward, and won't be correctly distributed and balanced through your hip, knee and ankle joints, and through the feet. There will be strain on all these joints, and on all the structures of the feet. This has obvious implications for foot problems, including PF - and for back, hip and knee problems too.

Pilates begins with and focuses on the pelvic and abdominal area, and practising Pilates will, by strengthening the 'core' muscles of the abdomen and back, improve posture. So too will yoga, if well taught, i.e. if the focus is on correct body use and good, easeful posture (rather than on 'doing postures').