Feet and Ankles

Feet, our connection to the world around us. These 29 muscles, 33 joints, and 26 bones propel us through our lives. How they work and connect affects how everything up the chain works, from our ankles and hips, to our low backs and shoulders. Over the next few weeks, I am going to focus on our feet and how to keep them happy. Check back each week for new videos.

The best place to start, is to see if you have control of your feet. Try this video below. If you can’t get it at first, keep trying. It will come quicker than you think.

Now that we can move our toes, let’s try to gain some more range of motion. Try this big toe extension stretch with both a straight and bent knee. Hang out in both positions, but spend a little more time in the one that feels the most useful.

Moving up to the ankles with this next video. Limited range in our ankles usually means we have limited “rock”. Meaning our heel has a hard time rocking side-to-side. Try this next exercise to check on this side-to-side movement while also working on gaining more control of the movement.

Now that we have some side-to-side movement, we can work on increasing the range of our dorsiflexion (shin bone towards the top of the foot). This PAILs/RAILs exercise allows us to gain more range of motion while actively engaging that new range. This means, we are strengthening while we are gaining more flexibility.

Balance Challenge

Try our balance challenge and see where you stand (pun intended). Try each move (1 added each week). If you can do it, move to the next. If not, keep working at it daily until you have it, then progress to the next challenge.

Intro

Challenge #1

Challenge #2

Challenge #3

Challenge #4

Challenge #5

Weekend Recovery

After a weekend of playing, our bodies can wake up Monday morning a little stiff and tired. That doesn’t mean we don’t move. It means we give our bodies a little motion to help them recover stronger and feel better. Try these 4 mobility exercises to help keep you moving well.

Kneed Relief?

Our activities can put some strain on our knees. At the end of a long hike, or maybe it was a bike ride, or maybe after working in the garden our knees can feel achy and sore. Grab a foam roller and try these 3 exercises to help bring some relief to your knees.

Do your knees need more love? There are 3 routines on the Koa Fit Online Platform for knee health and strength. Check them out here.

Grab a Tennis Ball and Go!

Hiking, biking, and playing through the summer is the best. But, between the miles on the trails and the miles in a car or plane, our lower legs can start to feel stiff. For your next adventure, pack a tennis ball and give these 3 moves a try.

Elbows Can Be a Pain

Who has a tweaky elbow? One of those twinges or aches that seem to almost go away, and then with one wrong pick-up or swing, the pain is back. For a lot of people, the position of their shoulders is the root cause of their elbow discomfort. Below is a set of 5 exercises, to be done in order and together, to help relieve minor aches or tweaks in the shoulders, elbows, and wrists. Done daily, noticeable changes will happen within 1-2 weeks. Try these out and share with your friends!

Also, check out my Online Platform for the Shoulder Strength Series that can help you incrementally build stronger shoulders fo injury mitigation.

Does Your Low Back Move?

To protect our low backs, it is important that we can generate a lot of power in our neutral spine position. But, unfortunately for us, life doesn’t always allow for us to move perfectly. That is why we need to train the low back’s capacity to move and to move while loaded.

When training this way, you are always walking the line. If you put too much load without building your body’s capacity up first, it will lead to injury. But, if we can train smart, and train our capacity and load together, then we become resilient. 🤩

Check out the 3 videos below to start moving your low back. They are in order of easiest (or lowest load) first and move to harder. Remember that when building capacity, the exercise may feel hard to do, but not due to weight like some other training you may have done. Stick with the exercise that feels challenging to do, before moving on to more load to keep your body safe.

If you are looking for full routines to help you get strong, check out the Koa Fit Online platform which includes 2 full-length routines for the low back + over 20 other videos to try. Click below to learn more.

How are your hips?

For the last few months, we have been playing with our hip mobility. A lot of our focus has been on rotation. Why? Because no other movement can be accessed or gained without it.

The hips move in 6 ways – extension (leg moves behind you), flexion (leg drives in from of you), adduction (legs squeeze together), abduction (legs move away from each other), internal rotation (thigh spirals inward), and external rotation (thigh spirals outward).

Below are a few videos that work with hip internal and external rotation. This is a great starting point for anyone looking for more freedom in their hips. Want more? Check out my full hip mobility program featured this week on the Koa Fit Online platform.