| Article written on April 26th, 2016 at 09:14am | Follow Garrett on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram |
The great toe is an area that requires our fullest attention. Not only is a full range of motion essential, but proper strength and control. All of these factors directly impact balance where the great toe provides tons of value. This is not only true for runners, but the general population as well.
After we assess flexibility and mobility at the great toe, our focus shifts to optimizing strength, neuromuscular control, and balance. Just because we have the range of motion doesn’t always mean we can express it. This is where interventions to improve conscious control and strength come in.
Oftentimes, I deal with athletes who have very poor balance. You’d actually be surprised at how poor it is. A big pet peeve of mine is those who think, to improve balance we must solely train balance. I couldn’t disagree more. To improve balance we must first assess joint mobility to see if the joint receptors are allowed to function properly. Then neuromuscular control and strength are factors that need to be tied in.
In the following video, Chris Wolfe does a fantastic job teaching us how to improve neuromuscular control, strength, and balance. These three attributes are essential for successful distance running and injury prevention. Not only do they allow runners to push-off with authority, but it improves the efficiency of the running pattern.
By: Garrett McLaughlin, MS, ATC, CSCS, ART