Exercise One: The Foot Core System
The arches of the foot function similarly to the core stabilizers within the trunk. The intrinsic foot muscles act as the deep local stabilizers that control the arches.
The ‘intrinsic foot muscle test’.
Maintain a neutral foot posture and Medial Longitudinal Arch (MLA) height while balancing on one leg for 30 seconds (foot core).
Note any compensations, especially from higher up the leg.
To train the foot core, perform the ‘short foot exercise’ to isolate the intrinsic muscles (see figure).
This exercise develops muscle control similar to the core engagement exercise used in trunk core activation. Shorten your foot length using the intrinsic muscles, pulling the big toe towards the heel, and elevating the MLA to create a dome shape.
Perform the short foot exercise for four weeks to reduce arch collapse, improve balance and great toe strength, and decrease ankle instability.