When working on our fitness for tennis or for overall athleticism and health, most of us focus on the big body parts, such as legs, glutes, chest, core and back.
While it's important to be strong in these muscles, we often neglect or even outright forget the smaller muscles. Occasionally we train the biceps and triceps or calves, but how often do you pay attention to your hands or feet?
Our feet are one of the hardest working parts in the body. Healthy and fit feet are necessary for a top athletic performance. They carry your body in every step you take while running, stopping and changing directions.
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Your feet assist with in every movement you make. When you push off the ground, the forces are transmitted upward in the kinetic chain to your hips and upper body.
Unfortunately, we often ignore out feet, both in life and performance training. With modern footwear, there's no demand on the small intrinsic muscles in the feet. The muscles eventually stop working correctly and the feet become dysfunctional.
Wearing improper shoes can accelerate problems and you may encounter flat feet, fallen arches, bunions, painful toes, inflammations, stiff ankles, hammertoes, heel pain and swollen feet. Every condition is painful and you can avoid it completely with regular foot training. Often, you can stop and even reverse your condition.
When you strengthen your feet, you will become more agile, move faster, and your performance will increase.
Czechoslovak researcher Vladimir Janda—a pioneer whose ideas are the foundation for the rehab principle to this day—found after only one week of 15 minutes a day of foot strengthening, the glute activation speed increased by 200 percent. Since the glutes are the powerhouse to your movement, these are astonishing results.