Did you know that your big toe can improve your lifting?

Although toes usually forgotten about and we don’t wan’t to look at them much, they actually play a huge role with our balance! True story.

Our toes keep us stable and help us to balance, especially the big toe. Those without a big toe (in cases of trauma and amputation) have very poor balance. Similarly, those with a very stiff big toe joint that doesn’t flex much are at a high risk of falls.When our big toe is working as it should it adds a HUGE amount of stability and mobility to our lifting.

How on earth does this tie on with CrossFit? Big toe touching ground = better balance = arch activation – BAM!

Let me explain.

1. The big toe forms a TRIPOD of stability for lifting
  • The big toes forms a tripod which is a stable base for lifting
  • The tripod includes 3 main areas of contact – big toe, little toe and heel
  • When all 3 contact the ground there is the ultimate stability for lifting!
2. Big toe ALWAYS, ALWAYS contacting the ground
Please don’t let us see your  big toe flapping in the wind during squats and deads. The big toe MUST be contacting the ground at all times.Big toe test!
1. Squat whilst looking into the mirror
2. Look at the big toe – does it lift or does it stay plugged into the ground
3. If it lifts, try plugging the big toe into the ground
4. HELLO stability!
3. A big toe that functions = a stable arch = POWER!

A stiff big toe puts more pressure on the plantar fascia and other arch muscles. So… if we can get more movement through our big toe it means we can get better RANGE – this means more squat depth! YAHOO!

More mobile big toes =

  • Greater squat depth
  • Less risk of heel pain
  • Arch muscles can switch on easily
3 take home messages:
1. Perform the squat test
2. Keep big toe PLUGGED into the ground with lifting
3. We can improve big toe function to get more stability with lifting and more depth with your squat!
With you every step of the way! Joe Keain
Sports Podiatrist           
E: Joe@podfitadelaide.com.au
P: (08) 7226 9901

Author: MelissaZac