If you've been with us any time at all, been to a Pose running clinic or an endurance seminar you've done some running drills. The first thing you probably did was practice bouncing on the balls of the feet. That feels a little odd if you've always run with a heel strike, that is, reaching out, landing on the heel and pulling yourself along. But there are lots of examples and lessons of how a forefoot landing is the way to go.
When you watch kids run you'll notice they run, even walk, forefoot first. The natural path of the leg, foot and ankle all lead to the ball of the foot coming to the ground first. What changes? Why do we screw up that beautiful gait as we get older? It's not what you might think; it's not mobility or limb length or changes in body mass or even becoming conscious of being cool.
It's the shoes.
Specifically, shoes with significant heels. We used to call them school shoes. Those have been replaced by thick soled, high-heeled "athletic" shoes which aren't athletic at all. They tend to shorten the calves, pitch your balance unnaturally forward and force you to hit the ground heel first. Not where you want to be.
Didn't always used to be this way, even for grown ups. Seems back in the day, way back, like Dark Ages day, we walked forefoot-first. Shoes were less rigid, more unstructured and this allowed us to stride in a more natural way. Or, more accurately, shows us that the more natural stride is in fact ball-first.
Another reason to at least be able to walk this way is incredibly practical. If one of your goals is to become a ninja (and who doesn't want to be a ninja?) you'll have to learn to walk like one. Stealthy, light footed and nearly invisible these (possibly mythical) assassins could slip in and out of wherever they wanted to go undetected. Why? They knew how to walk.
What this have to do with your health and fitness? Easy. Whenever possible slip your shoes off and walk around barefoot. Let your feet breathe and relax. If you've got a beach, a park, even the greensward, stroll awhile barefoot. Even the sidewalk is game (most primitive village paths are well worn, hard and smooth). Practice a little forefoot walking and see how it feels.
If you want to explore this and so much more come see us. We'd love to have you. If you're not close by check out our Momentum Online Coaching.