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How To Run Safely On Loose Boulders

feet & ankles health real life Sep 21, 2021

‘You are crazy!’  This was the first response I got when suggesting I could run across a boulder field of loosely piled up rocks.  
Walking was challenging. People with hiking boots, sneakers or other footwear moved gingerly as if walking on glass or egg shells.

And here I was almost barefooted. A thin soled barefoot shoe protecting me from cuts, but no ankle support or sturdy sole.
Liking a challenge and always happy to test and prove my idea of how feet can be used I made a bold statement.
I believe there are so many unused ways how we can make better use of our feet than most of the population do.

Anatomy generally uses the skeleton as the basic structure of our body. So skeletons are to anatomists what stethoscopes are to doctors.
In my view, however, the skeleton is highly overrated. Keeping the bones in the forefront, misses the point of human beings. We are mobile and adapt reflexively to changes in our environment.
Bones, while still alive, are rather slow to change significantly. Relying on bones  often leaves us with rolled ankles, and ligament sprains.

The trick, if we could call it that, is to use the foot three dimensionally to adapt to uneven and moving surfaces with fast muscle tension adaptations.
The contact surface of a foot with the ground is like a tripod. One contact point in the heel and one each under the ball of the big toe and the little toe.
Between them a network of muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia build several dynamic and supportive arches. Adaptations of these arches and contact points to changing surfaces happens by muscle tension changes. And this is not just one muscles or a pair of muscles. These are many muscles covering all possible movement directions of the ankles and foot.

How we run, or specifically how I am able to run on loose rock surfaces, is by using the dynamic tripod of the foot with fast adaptive muscle activations.
This is trainable.
And you can learn how with some simple exercises.

Watch the video above to get some starting impressions and ideas.

You can take the Movement Anatomy of the FEET course to give you all the background knowledge and set you up with useful exercises.

Happy walking and  running with secure footing,


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