Our feet are the only body parts in contact with the ground for most of the day. Standing, walking, running, climbing stairs, working out – during all of these activities, the feet (and ankles) are bearing bodyweight and often additional loads. All day long they take a beating, yet why are our feet the most neglected body part? Why don’t we look after them in the same way we do with other body parts? How many of us take the time to strengthen and mobilize our feet?
The foot is one of the most innervated parts of the body – the sole of the foot contains 250,000 nerve endings. What that tells us, is that the foot is designed to get feedback from the environment. Not just a small amount, but a huge amount of feedback! But why is this important?
When we look at other parts of the body that are also highly innervated, we start to understand. The eyes, neck, and hands also have many nerve endings. These structure are key to helping us navigate our environment, and contribute to upright posture, body control, spatial awareness, and skillful movement.
In the same way, the feet have evolved to sense the ground and provide feedback to our brains about posture, balance, terrain – all of which help to direct and control our movement efforts. The feet have literally evolved to be a movement sensor.
Modern lifestyles place unnatural demands on our bodies, particularly the feet. Poor footwear, prolonged sitting, and unnatural movement patterns have taken their toll on the human form and function. The good news is that much if this decline can be re-balanced, and in many cases, reversed. And it all begins with a simple assessment tool, called the plantar plate.
Assessing the foot with a plantar plate
A plantar plate is a simple platform that measures the pressure (force) during standing, walking or running. Pressure readings during standing can provide useful data on posture, balance, and overall foot health – all of which can have a huge impact on how well we move. Pressure data from walking and running can not only be used to confirm existing foot/ankle problems, but also to predict future injuries. This information can then be used to improve foot health and running technique.
Pressure plate technology has been around for many years, however, its application to fitness and health has been limited. EVO is all about promoting skillful human movement, yet our modern day environments and lifestyles are preventing us from performing simple movements such as standing, walking and running without hurting ourselves. We assume we can perform these movements skillfully and so we take them for granted. In reality, lack of skill in these fundamental movements are a leading cause of pain, dysfunction and injury. This technology will help our members become more aware of movement health, and take positive measures towards enhancing it.
EVO Fitness is proud to be one of the few global fitness brands to offer plantar plate technology with integrated Running Technique Assessment to all of its members. For more information and to book your assessment, please speak to an EVO Personal Trainer.