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Fast Fitness - Fix Flat Feet, Pronation, and Fallen Arches

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Here is Fast Friday Fitness - feel how your own muscles work to hold arch support, so that you can have healthy arches without artificial shoe arch supports or orthotics, which weaken the supporting muscles from disuse:

  1. Stand with feet parallel and look in a mirror where you can see your feet, or just look down.
  2. Pull outward (straighten) until your arches rise and restore to neutral position, and your ankles are straight.
  3. Learn to feel neutral position. Don't hold rigidly or roll outward. You gain built-in muscle strength and arch stability with each step you take.
Click the > arrow to see the short movie made for us by reader David from Belgium:

First he allows his weight to shirt inward, pushing his arch flatter toward the floor. At seconds 3 to 4 in the movie, he uses the outer muscles to pull to straight neutral ankle position. At seconds 8 to 9 he allows the arch to sag again, then restores and holds healthy arch from second 13 onward. The "exercise" is not to roll back and forth. It is just to learn to feel what allowing sagging too much feels like, and how to restore neutral position.


During walking and running, there is a small natural inward drop (slight pronation) that is part of the spring and propulsion. Allowing exaggerated sagging is like rounding your shoulders too much. Legs and feet have posture that you can control yourself. Use your own muscles and get free built-in exercise and arch support all day, and stop painful poor positioning.

Some people with existing abnormality or growths in the ball of the foot will roll inward (or outward) to get the pressure off the deformed area because standing straight hurts. See your doctor first. Remember, don't force. If it hurts, it's wrong. All you are doing is learning how to stand neutral, not tilted so much that you compress the joints. The concept is to hold your feet in the same healthful position that shoe supports would. It is like an ice skater holds their skates straight at the ankle, not angled.


Movie by David, www.hierennu.be


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About the Author


M.Ed, PhD, FAWM

Dr. Bookspan is an award-winning scientist whose goal is to make exercise easier and healthier.

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