Nia - From the Ground Up

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Think Ground Up: Back in 1983 we knew barefoot fitness was safe. It’s 2019 and fitness has finally embraced the benefits of bare feet conditioning! In today’s sweat session, learn to shift your body weight versus dropping it to create less impact on your feet and leg joints.

Your feet are platforms upon which to spread the stresses of standing and moving. To be steady and reliable, they must be pliable, strong, and resilient. Shoes box them in, constrict their circulation and hinder the mobility of their joints, the full strengthening of their muscles. Working barefoot gives your feet a chance to breathe, to stretch, and become more flexible; to flex and become stronger, to touch and be touched. That, in turn, affects everything else you’re able to do.

Lead with your heal to give your feet meticulous training, proper foot coordination and strengthening of bones, joints, and soft tissues. Your feet provide a secure base for movement and balance if you use them well. Don’t play favorites with the inside or outside edges. Distribute your weight equally, evenly across the entire surface of your sole so that your whole foot gets a chance to play. When you step forward or to the corners, point your foot in the direction you’re going and lead with your heel, sensing a stretch (energy reaching out along the bone) in your calf, and sensing a strengthening (energy squeezing and hugging the bone) in the muscles around your shins.

From the heel, roll through to the ball of your foot, feeling every cell and every inch of your sole saying, “Ah,” protecting the thin metatarsal bones in your foot. When you step back, always move with soft knees (spring-loaded joints) onto the ball of your foot, keeping your back heel high. Never step back with locked knees onto a flat foot. When you step forward or sideways to rise up onto the ball of your foot, remember to roll from your heel, completely through the whole surface of your sole and then rise up onto the ball.

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Karen FirebaughComment