THE BLOG

Agility, Speed, Balance and Power Start With Your Feet

04/24/2015 06:08 pm ET | Updated Jun 24, 2015

Every athlete, whether you are a man or women, wants to be faster than a speeding built, more powerful than a locomotive and able to move with cat like reflexes. The quicker your feet move the greater chance you have for achieving success. Agility, movement, speed is all about your feet being biomechanically balanced. While quick and stable feet create positive outcomes, a foot that is unstable and wobbles from side to side does not!

A major reason why athletes' feet are not stable is because they are not properly balanced. They have a sense that their feet are not connected to the ground. Weakness can be felt in one or both legs, and performing balance exercises such as standing on one leg and holding that position for more than 60 seconds is difficult. The plantar muscles in the foot become fatigued because of continual repetitive activity of the arch collapsing during movement. This is because of abnormal pronation and can be defined as instability of the joints in the mid-foot and rear foot (the mid-tarsal and subtalar joints) creating a loose bag of bones. Although pronation is normal and every foot pronates, excess or abnormal pronation is not. Abnormal pronation causes the medial longitudinal arch or inner arch of the foot to stay collapsed throughout the entire gait cycle. Regardless of what sport you are playing; baseball, softball, football, tennis, golf, basketball or you are a distance runner if the joints in your feet are not stable and supported, achieving maximum success can be challenging. Unbalanced feet can affect your performance when standing on the golf course getting ready to hit a putt or teeing off, serving in tennis, shooting a foul shot, a hitter in the batter's box or a pitcher on the mound getting ready to pitch.

"Athletic footwear is designed to protect the foot and give the player better shock absorption, traction and stability." They are not specifically designed to biomechanically control or support the joints of the foot and prevent abnormal pronation.

Since "better balance equals maximum performance," whatever sport you are playing your feet need to be balanced so your lower half can create the power in your legs and feet to perform at a high level. Athletes can control abnormal foot pronation and improve their foot biomechanics by placing an arch support or a custom made orthotic in their athletic footwear. By typing in online arch supports for baseball, softball, golf or running you can find the proper device to place in your athletic shoes. These types of arch supports provide the proper balance the foot needs to achieve better biomechanical balance and stability. They stabilize and align the joints in the foot below the ankle and mid-foot. They allow the ball of the foot to be firmly placed on the ground for easier weight transfer from one leg to another which will generate more power from the hips down. Arch supports can also reduce the risk of injuries to the foot and lower legs. Plantar fasciitis, arch cramps, shin splints are a few of the soft tissue injuries that can be helped wearing arch supports.

Wearing arch supports in your athletic footwear is vitally important for athletes who have unstable feet and feel unbalanced. They will reduce the instability and wobble athletes experience during performance; it could be the difference between a win and a loss!

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