Footwork Friday - Foot muscle rolling

Welcome to Footwork Friday where we will be introducing agility drills, strengthening, and muscle care techniques for the athlete who understands how important their feet are in carrying them through to the next step in their active lifestyle. While you are beating the heck out of your feet out there, think about the health of your feet every so often. Our feet can be very resilient, but when they start to go south then bad mechanics tend to snow ball, leading to other leg and hip injuries. Take care of them before they head south. 

Today's topic is simply about rolling the muscles of the feet. It seems simple but I want you to do it correctly. Sure, it's fine if you sit in a chair and roll a golf ball up and down the length of the bottom of the foot. Many people do this and that's great and easy to do. I just want you to realize that you may be neglecting two of the most important muscles: abductor hallucis and flexor hallucis brevis. This is because they are on the inside of the foot. And they do a ton of work stabilizing your inner arch. 

To get to them you have to pick up your foot and roll the inside of the arch and heel with a massage stick, golf ball, dowel rod, etc. I've colored the abductor hallucis muscle in red and flexor hallucis brevis muscle in purple in the photo below. Don't roll onto the bones.

 Abductor hallucis (red), flexor hallucis brevis (purple)

Abductor hallucis (red), flexor hallucis brevis (purple)

If you want a primer on my version of proper rolling altogether, see my earlier post here

As an aside, if you are having pain more toward this inner side on the bottom of your foot then there's a good chance it can come from these muscles, not the plantar fascia that is often blamed.