Give Your Ankle Joint Some Lovin’
I want to share something with you that has the capability of changing not only the way you walk, but the response of your entire body to that change.
It’s going to require you to pay attention to your walking.
That’s rather easy, wouldn’t you say?
In big words that means you’re going to pay close attention to the biomechanics of your foot and ankle. Don’t be scared. It’s pretty cool stuff really.
Everyone has their patterns and habits that are included in their walking. And I’m talking everyday walking, not walking for exercise.
How you walk from your car to the house or from your bed to the kitchen – that kinda stuff.
Think about this for a second: your foot is the contact and the transfer station between something stable, the ground, and something that can move, you.
The way the foot strikes the ground matters but what is BIGGER is how you allow that force to transfer to the ankle joint.
Do you get that?
I see way too many people walking around their ankle joint. The force that is supposed to be transferred from the ground to the foot to the ankle ain’t happenin’.
Then what is happening, you ask?
Let me point out three of the most obvious ones and check it out for yourself.
- People walk on the inside or the outside edge of their foot – that’s called pronation or supination.
- People walk in “turn out” – where you’re basically leading with your heel and your legs turn out at the hip. (think dancers)
- People lumber along with the “idea” that they’re walking with their feet but they’re actually walking with their hips.
All three of those actions steal the action from the ankle joint.
Because you’re not transferring the forces from your foot to your ankle when you walk. You’re going around that oh-so-important joint.
And if you’re stealing transfer action from the ankle you better believe the rest of you is feelin’ the steal. Maybe not consciously but at a level where compensations kick in up at your knees, hips, pelvis, low back, shoulders and even neck.
So, here’s something to practice.
Start looking down at how you walk. And since we shove our foot in shoes most of the time, do it barefoot too.
We all have our habits. I’m not saying to kick your habits and drop your patterns of movement you’ve had for umpteen years. Recognize them, but more importantly try to get a sense of being able to SPRING off the floor with your foot.
If you let your foot be a foot by making contact with the ground and then pushing off that ground in a straight way, not turned in or out, you might get a whole different sense of being in your body.
The Straight Way is the Key.
Supination, pronation and turn out are all funky ways we walk, but we all have the ability to hone in on how the heel strikes and how you PUSH off from there to take your next step. Try to do it by making sure your foot is straight when it strikes the ground and thus following that same pattern when you push off.
You might experience openings in those joints and chains above the action. You might feel freer. You might feel lighter. You might feel joyous because you’re encouraging natural movement.
And it might feel weird because you’re stepping outside you habitual patterns of movement. That’s okay.
Check it out for yourself.
Be open to seeing how it may feel and how you can actually use your foot as a foot, an absorber, and your ankle as a transferring station.
I made a 1 minute video to show you in Slow-Mo of what I’m talking about.
Notice the push off of the foot and the force that transfers.
Now, Go Strut Your Stuff 😎
Notice how the rest of your body feels from this change.
To a great rest of the week!