Intrinsic Foot Strength and The Short Foot Position

 

Strength in Conditioning for Friday, May 28, 2015

Increasing intrinsic foot strength can help athletes combat both foot and knee problems. While many athletes realize the importance of ankle dorsiflexion range of motion and are stretching their calf muscles and mobilizing the ankle – it is important to have intrinsic foot strength.

The arches are ‘pulled into existence’ – we are not born with arches – we develop them.  Foot strength and ankle mobility are both important for keeping the knees healthy.  Knee problems are often the result of poor arch function and weak glutes.

As part of my intake with new athletes – I always check leg length and both foot and knee tracking.  Foot position lays the foundation for good knee position in squats and deadlifts.  Leg length issues can be corrected with a lift.

However, athletes that wear an orthotic for arch support can benefit from spending some time strengthening the feet and using a combination of inserts for weight bearing activities like running and barefoot training to improve knee tracking and arch support.

Stability from the Hand and Foot

The cues, “Screw your feet into the ground/separate the floor with your feet” and “Crush the kettlebell with your grip have similar effects – both increasing stability in the shoulder and hip through a contraction of the hand or foot.  The increased stability occurs through a process called irradiation where neural drive is increased to the extremities by firmly gripping the kettlebell to recruit the rotator cuff.

The short foot position confers a similar advantage.  By activating the foot, neutral drive is increased to the external hip rotators.  In other words, screwing the foot into the floor (creating the short foot position) increases stability in the hip.

The graphic below shows the ‘tripod foot’ points that form the short foot position.  The first metatarsal head (big toe) to the heel is the medial arch and the fifth metatarsal head to the heel is the lateral arch.  It is important to maintain all three points of contact on the ground when squatting and performing single leg exercises to strengthen the hip.

short-foot-position

The following exercises for intrinsic foot strength and training the short foot position can help athletes who have plantar fasciitis or have trouble maintaining a neutral foot position during squats – either collapsing the arch or shifting their weight excessively to the outside of the foot.

Check out this video on the shortfoot position by Seth Oberst and this video on intrinsic foot strengthening by Dr. Andreo Spina

- Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach” – Creator of FlexibilityRx™ – www.FlexibilityRx.com

Related Resources

Seth Oberst: The Short Foot Position and Neuromuscular Readiness
Dr. Andreo Spina: Developing Instrinsic Foot Strength

 

WARMUP
10 Minute Jump Rope Practice + Double Under Skill Work
.
SKILL
Ring Work
Row + False Grip + Muscle Up Transition + Dips + Tucks + L-sit
.
STRENGTH
2 Minute Max Push Ups, Lunges, + Sit Ups
1 Minute Max Push Ups, Lunges, + Sit Ups
.
CONDITIONING A
4 Rounds
Bench | LIFE: 12-15 | FITNESS: 10-12 | SPORT: Max Reps BW for Men & 70%BW for Women
Pull Ups | LIFE: Pause Ring Rows | FITNESS:  6-8 Quality Reps | SPORT: Max Strict Reps
Sit Ups | LIFE: 10-15 | FITNESS & SPORT: 50
3 Minute Walking Rest
.
CONDITIONING B
500 Meter Row Sprint
3-5 Minute Rest
500 Meter Row Sprint
.

Time to Level Up!

 

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, May 28, 2015

Is tonight your night? There is only one way to find out!

This evening at 7pm, many will show up to take the test — but only the most dedicated, only those with the most heart, only those who want it bad enough — will leave donning the white band on their wrist!

In this assessment of stamina, speed, and inner strength, the L1 Fitness Test puts your mastery of the Strength In Conditioning basics to the test. Using the markers of air squats, handstand holds, burpees, box jumps and more — earning the White Band proves to your coaches, class mates, and YOURSELF, that any challenge you put your mind and spirit to you can achieve!

Join us tonight at 7pm to take the test yourself, or to cheer on those who are!

Level1testing1.12.14

CONDITIONING 
3 Rounds
1 Minute of Wall Balls
1 Minute of Hang Power Cleans 95/75
1 Minute of Box Jumps
1 Minute of Push Presses 95/75
1 Minute Max Calorie Row
1 Minute Rest
LIFE: Ball Slam + Barbell or PVC Cleans + Box Step Up
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Practicing Patience In Power Lifting

 

Strength in Conditioning for Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Today at SICFIT Scottsdale we have three heavy lifts on the docket — the back squat, the deadlift, and the shoulder press. These lifts make up the sport of powerlifting and are measures of strictly brute strength. No relying on a hip drive, explosiveness, or speed for these lifts — just the capacity of your muscles and mind to move heavy load.

Though today is a heavy lifting day, be modest as you build up your barbell with bumper plates. Warm up gradually, opting for adding smaller amount of weight at a time rather than making huge jumps. This will help you establish solid mechanics of each lift at lighter loads, and then transfer that healthy movement pattern steadily with each modest increase in weight.

When we reach a weight where our mechanics begin to falter, even just slightly, we know we have reached our capacity for the day. This is perhaps the most important aspect of weightlifting discipline. Not only do we need to back off when from becomes faulty for safety reasons. But if we don’t, all we are doing is practicing shoddy technique, getting better and better at using bad form at heavy load with every rep. This is not a good recipe to get stronger.

All in all, lets be sure to challenge ourselves, but to do so humbly and intelligently. Strength in Conditioning is a lifetime. Work patiently towards your goals, and you will be sure to exceed them!

SICFITdeadliftBanner

STRENGTH A
Spend 20 min to establish a tough 3 rep back squat
.
STRENGTH B
Spend 15 min to establish a tough 3 rep Deadlift
.
STRENGTH C
Spend 10 min to establish a tough strict press
.
CONDITIONING
5 Minute AMRAP
5 Russian Kettle Bell Swings
5 Goblet Squats
5 Kettle Bell Push Press
.

 

One Hell of a Week!

Strength in Conditioning for Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Well, it was one hell of a week that’s for sure! Last week, 15 SICFITTERS endured five days, two hours each day, of what cannot be described as anything less than hell.

But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right? When you see these toughened souls at the gym, be sure to give them a pat on the back. (Just be gentle, because they are probably still pretty sore!)

Be on the look out for our next Hell Week — we’re already brewing up new ideas and challenges to put 15 new SICFITTERS to the ultimate test of will, strength, and character.

Hell Week is one of SICFIT Scottsdale’s most popular offerings. Make sure you jump on board quick for our next one! Your mind, body, and spirit will never be the same!

 

LEVEL 1 PREP
.
WARMUP
Dynamic Movement and Movement Prep
.
CONDITIONING A
3 Rounds
300 Meter Row + 10 Air Squat, Sit Up, Push Up, Pull up
4 Minute Walking Rest
.
BASELINE RETEST
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CONDITIONING B
3 Rounds
1 Minute Plank
1 Minute Jump Rope
.
STRETCH
.

 

Memorial Day Workout Tribute to an American Hero, LT. Michael Murphy

 

Strength in Conditioning for Monday, May 25, 2015

Every year on Memorial Day, the SICFIT community rises up to honor the courageous American hero and Navy Seal, LT Michael Murphy. LT Murphy sacrificed his life in Afghanistan in 2005. Today, we remember his life and his dedication to his country by doing Memorial Day Murph.

Here is a little bit about this brave and selfless soldier…

Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy was humble, courteous, and driven, motivated by his calling to stand up for justice in the face of, what he describes, as bullies. Michael Murphy’s tenure in standing up for what is right began long before he became a member of the Navy SEALS. Even in grade school he is remembered for intervening when a group of bullies attempted to enclose a special needs student into a locker and when a homeless man was being harassed by Murphy’s peers.

Michael Murphy died courageously in Afghanistan on June 28th, 2005, at 29 years of age. In the midst of battle, Murph braved oncoming bullets to reach radio contact to call for reinforcements that would eventually save his comrades from an otherwise dire situation. Till his moment of death, Michael Murphy continued to fight for justice against oppressive bullies.

As we struggle through this workout today, let us remember the sacrifice that Lieutenant Michael Murphy made for us, and all those who are victim of injustice around the world. This free workout will be held at 8am, 12pm, and 5pm.

MurphGrave

 

MEMORIAL DAY MURPH

1 Mile Run
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run
.

 

Congratulations graduating class of HELL WEEK at SICFIT Scottsdale.

 

Happy Memorial Day and congratulations on successfully completing Hell Week at SICFIT Scottsdale. Your perseverance, dedication, teamwork, and will to overcome adversity are truly inspirational. It is so inspirational in fact, that we are giving you priority registration for our next Hell Week which will take place October 19th – 23rd from 0500-0700 each day.

When life gets tough, think back to this past week; what you went through and how you overcame it. You have proven to yourself, your fellow Hell Week participants, and countless others that you are capable of overcoming the curve balls life throws us all.

Congratulations again. On behalf of all of us here at SICFIT Scottsdale; we are proud of what you have done and look forward to seeing you at the gym next week. Thank you to all of our coaches who showed up to deliver an unbelievable experience. If you would like to get registered for our next HELL WEEK course click HERE:

Most Valuable Teammate: Lana Webb
Most Improved: Kasandra Friend

Thank you for this great recap video of the final day of HELL WEEK “Judgment day” Paul D.

Oh, say, can you see, by the dawn’s early light,
What so proudly we hail’d at the twilight’s last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars, thro’ the perilous fight,
O’er the ramparts we watch’d, were so gallantly streaming?
And the rockets’ red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof thro’ the night that our flag was still there.
O say, does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

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11200604_10153324072299861_5062755724356114036_n

For more photos “LIKE” and visit our SICFIT Scottsdale FAN page on FACEBOOK. 

Memorial Day Murph This Monday

 

Strength in Conditioning for Saturday, May 23, 2015

CONDITIONING
Coaches Surprise!

.
Enjoy your long Memorial Day weekend SICFITTERS! Be sure to join us in honoring LT. Michael Murphy, this Monday as we take on Murph. Classes will be held at the following times:

  • 8:00 am
  • 12:00 pm
  • 5:00 pm

This FREE Holiday workout is SICFIT Scottsdale’s way of celebrating the life of all fallen American Soldiers. Please bring your friends and family to share in this special memorial class!

Murph

What I Learned at The Movement Fix Workshop

 

Strength in Conditioning for Friday, May 22, 2015

I recently attended Ryan DeBell’s Movement Fix workshop, which helps athletes improve their pulling, squat, and overhead mechanics.  As a Fascial Stretch Therapist™ and flexibility coach I have spent a lot of time in gyms watching athletes prepare for their workouts (warming up and stretching).

During workouts I see a lot of athletes struggle to prevent rounding at the bottom of the squat and combat overextension of the low back during overhead lifts.

While many athletes are aware that they struggle with certain movement components (supporting the bar in the front rack position) – there is a disconnect between what they do and what is actually needed to correct the problem.

In other words, will stretching the hamstrings actually improve deadlift mechanics – so that athletes won’t have low back pain or stiffness after workouts?  Ryan teaches athletes and coaches how to become ‘Movement Detectives’ so they can find the right exercises for the desired result.

Ryan’s workshop gives athletes focus and empowers coaches to quickly fix the central components behind dysfunctional movement patterns.

Here my 5 Take-Aways from the Workshop

  1. Spinal Stability is the Foundation
  2. Don’t Punish the Victim – Find the Criminal
  3. The Biggest Squat ‘Fix’ is Hip Anatomy
  4. Find the Minimum Effective Dose
  5. Strengthen the New Range

1. Spinal Stability is the Foundation

Before stretching the shoulders or ‘punishing the hamstrings’ athletes need to assess their ability to keep a neutral spine during hip flexion and extension.  If an athlete cannot keep the back flat against the floor during a leg lowering test or straight leg raise, the limiting factor in the deadlift is probably a core stability problem not a hip flexibility problem.

Dysfunctional breathing and abdominal weakness (poor anterior core stability) will limit both hip and shoulder flexion.  A dying bug or RKC plank will do more for your chronic hamstring tightness than stretching.

2. Don’t Punish the Victim – Find the Criminal

Ryan explained that it is a good idea to consider the “Question behind the question.”  Instead of trying to find the ‘best’ hamstring stretch – ask yourself why your hamstrings are tight in the first place.  If your hip-flexors are always tight, maybe your weak abdominals are forcing the psoas to take on additional work to stabilize the spine.  Muscle tightness is often a protective mechanism that is the result of poor core stability.  Athletes can save themselves a lot of time by first considering why an area may be tight or why range of motion is limited.

3. The Biggest Squat ‘Fix’ is Hip Anatomy

Ryan’s blog post, “The Best Kept Secret: Why People HAVE to Squat Differently” is a game changer. Instead of accumulating hours trying to improve hip mobility – why not find the best squat stance for your own hip anatomy.  The breakouts during the workshop for finding an ideal squat stance created INSTANT improvements in squat form.  Athletes that find their ideal stance can then fine-tune their squat by looking at how much additional mobility they actually need in that position.

4. Find the Minimum Effective Dose

One of the reasons many gym members ‘forget’ to stretch or do mobility work is that it hurts like hell! If pain signals the brain to ‘shut-down’ range of motion – why would athletes want to aggressively force themselves into positions they cannot comfortably maintain?

I discussed foam rolling with Ryan and we both agreed that the primary benefit is decreasing neural tension – not breaking apart tissue.  Foam rolling is not myofascial release – but can help athletes reduce tension and get into better positions. Foam rolling should be brief and no more than four out of ten on the pain scale.  Athletes will then have more time for position specific mobilizations in the gym.

As a Structural Integrator I am always reminded of Ida Rolf’s concept, “Less is More.”  Studying with Stretch-to-Win® I learned that effective stretching consists of gentle traction, progressive range of motion, and neurological reflexes that release tension.  Ryan’s suggestions mirrored these views, emphasizing the role of the nervous system in maximizing range of motion.  Muscles are stupid – if you want to PR your deadlift – train the brain to support position specific mobility and then find stability through the new range.

5. Strengthen the New Range

One of the biggest take-aways was the following idea, “If you gain mobility, you need to OWN it.” Athletes tend to separate the practice of stretching, rolling, and myofascial release from the very reason they are doing them in the first place.  Ryan provided great assessments for the core stability and flexibility needed for the deadlift before showing a great progression that allowed athletes to strengthen the position in a progressive range of motion.

If an athlete improves their ability to resist lumbar hyperextension and demonstrate good hip flexion – but is still not ready to pull off the floor – why not strength the new range while maintaining good position?

On the other hand – why do a joint-mobilization or spend time stretching if you are not going to use that new range?  Ryan showed some great exercises to reinforce the changes in mobility than athletes experienced.

As a flexibility and movement coach I enjoyed seeing Ryan integrate the collective wisdom of DNS, Stuart McGill, Charlie Weingroff, and many others into his own unique system of movement mechanics.

Most of the time athletes and coaches walk away from workshops with dozens of drills they don’t have time to implement and more information than they need – instead Ryan delivered a ‘Less is More’ approach that stunned us all with it’s simplicity and effectiveness.” – Kevin Kula, “The Flexibility Coach”, Creator of FlexibilityRx™

the movement fix

CONDITIONING A
SLEDS
Ball slams
Butcher
.
CONDITIONING B
100 Push up
100 Sit Ups
100 Burpees
.

 

Athlete of the month Jeff “HOUSE” Rosenbloom

 

Who in the world is this guy they call House? Well his birth name is Jeff  Edward Rosenbloom but was given the nickname House when he was pledging his fraternity at U of A, BEAR DOWN! He found SICFIT through his great friend Coach Jesse who also went to the University of Arizona. Then six degrees of seperation brought us even closer with another fraternity brother Noah Robinson at U of A who also happens to be my oldest friend in the world and neighbor in Kindergarten. Alright now that were all up to speed on how we know House let’s discuss why we love Jeff so much and why he is awarded the coveted title of Athlete of the Month. 

Jeff has been working exclusively with Coach Jesse three days a week, he just completed HELL WEEK and is down 54 pounds since he began his journey towards health and FITness earlier this year. Those accomplishments are only the beginning of what drives Jeff and why they are so important to him. One of the most generous and humble people I have had the opportunity of coaching over the years and a man who truly enjoys his life and the lives of those close to him. Congratulations Mr. Jeff “House” Rosenbloom we look forward to seeing how many more things you accomplish at SICFIT Scottsdale and in your professional career.

Luke Kayyem


Born:
Manhattan NY
Lived: New York, Connecticut, Arizona
Family: Arthur Rosenbloom, Jane Rosenbloom, and Maggie Rosenbloom
School: The University of Arizona
Worst job: Toshiba

Best job: What I do now. Tip.ly  the first mobile payment solution with bank grade security that allows people to tip service professionals with their mobile phone without the exchange of any personal information, such as phone numbers, email addresses and credit cards.

How has SICFIT changed your life? SICFIT changed my life by getting me in the best shape of my life at age 35.  Also SICFIT has made me understand how food affects my body and how to properly fuel my body.

How your changing lives through SICFIT?  I’m changing lives through SICFIT by my drive to work out and eat properly.  I lost 54 LBS in 2 months, someone at the gym heard that and it motivated them to come in more.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I am pretty happy with who I am and what I do for a living now.  I do want to continue to grow in to my new lifestyle!

Greatest weakness in your current training? My stamina and endurance.

Goals: Continue my fitness progression, and live a SICFIT lifestyle.

Greatest accomplishment: Losing 54 lbs in two months and completely changing my diet to Paleo

Whats your “Why”?  I want to look better naked.

 

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Are You L1 Band Ready?

 

Strength in Conditioning for Thursday, May 21, 2015

One week from today, a whole new crew of SICFITTERS will put themselves to the test in hopes of earning L1 SICFIT status. And while not all will leave donning the white band on their wrist, just by showing up these athletes prove to their coaches, their classmates, and to themselves that they have the heart and mind of a fighter, willing to stop at nothing until that white band becomes theirs.

In today’s workout, we prepare ourselves for the challenge of the L1 test. Even though our conditioning today is only practice for the test, treat it as if it were the real deal. Use your performance to identify your strengths and weaknesses. And then use your time wisely over the next seven days to strengthen those weaknesses.

For those athletes who go home with the band next week, we wish you a small congratulations.

Why small you ask?

Because this victory is only the first of many. Once the L1 White Band is earned, it is time to set your sights on the L2 and then the L3.

Enjoy the sweet flavor of triumph while you can, for this is only the first plateau in your journey. The mountain only gets steeper from here. Are you ready?

white band

LEVEL 1 TEST
1. Push Ups: 40 Consecutive |From Knees W
2. Sit Ups: 65 in 2 Minutes
3. Squats: 80 in 2 Minutes
4. Burpees: 20 in 1 Minute
5. Hand Stand Hold for 70 Seconds
6. Thrusters: 15 Consecutive | 75M / 55W
7. Wall Balls: 15  Consecutive | 20M / 14W
8. Push Press: 15 Consecutive | 75M /55W
9. Jump Rope: 500 Singles or 15 Doubles Consecutive
10. Box Jump: 20 at 20″ Consecutive
11. 400M Run: Under 1:45M / 1:55W
.

 

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