How your foot alignment affects pelvic floor function + your children’s development
Your feet have 26 bones, 33 joints and hundreds of muscles.
They’re your platform and serve you well most of the time (if you treat them fairly back, obviously).
The vast majority of people are born with the ability to stand and walk with their feet pointing straight ahead.
Your baby/children’s feet will also be parallel.
What’s up with your feet?
What do YOUR feet look like?
LET’S GET PRACTICAL!
One of the first things I cover in my pelvic floor exercises classes is how to stand correctly.
Take your shoes off, stand up, march on the spot with your eyes closed, then look down and check out your feet.
When you stand ‘naturally’ without thinking, what do your feet look like?
Do neither of your feet point straight ahead?
Do you have more of a ‘turn out’ on your right or your left foot?
Is the outside edge not straight at all?
Who taught you to walk?
What are THEIR feet like?
Were you raised by ducks…?!
Who will spend more time with your children when they’re learning to go from crawling to toddling to walking?
You, or your partner/grandparents/other carer?
Whoever will spend the most time with your child is likely to have a direct influence on HOW your child learns to walk.
Walking isn’t inherited in the ‘genetic’ sense of the word.
Babies ‘observe’ their parents/carers walking and watch them closely and ‘adopt’ their stance and oftentimes, some of their gait pattern too.
Fixing your foot mechanics is actually very very simple.
And, it’s vital to correct your stance if you have pelvic floor dysfunction.
Question is: are you doing anything about it for the sake of your pelvic floor muscles and butt?
Every time you perform a standing exercise, I cue you to position your feet so the outside edges of the feet are straight, and maybe I don’t go into enough detail as to the real ‘why’, hence my article today.
Let’s delve a little deeper:
ITS’ NOT JUST ABOUT THE FEET
Correctly aligning the feet doesn’t just influence the feet themselves (although if you’re reading this and you suffer with foot pain, take note).
Scan upwards from your feet and you’ll find ankles, shins, knees, thigh bones, a pelvis, a spine, some ribs, 2 shoulders, a couple of arms, a neck and a skull.
There are muscles surrounding ALL of these bones, and if your bones aren’t in the right positions, neatly stacked one on top of the other from the feet upwards, the muscles that attach to dem bones can become tighter, longer, weaker, compromised, over-worked and/or in some cases underworked.
CAR WHEELS + FEET = SAME THING
Would you drive a car with wheels pointing out an angle?
No. You’d take your car into the garage and get the wheels re-aligned, wouldn’t you? I do hope so.
It’s basic Physics at work here. Stop driving your human machine around with a poorly aligned wheel base, applying incorrect loads to the wrong parts, and everything else will settle nicely into place a bit like auto-pilot.
Did that grab your attention? It should do.
If you’re pregnant, you’ll want to increase your baby’s chances of entering the world via your birth canal doing as little damage on the way out as possible, yes?
If you’re postnatal and you’ve already been there and done that, you’ll either still have a pelvic floor that’s intact, or one that’s been affected.
If you have pelvic floor weakness like “sneeze wee”, prolpase or urge incontinence click here for details on my pelvic floor exercise classes which will help you.
How you stand, walk and go about your bony-structured business prior to pregnancy and immediately post-birth will either help or hinder things here.
WANT A FLAT, NON-FUNCTIONING BUTT?
If you answered ‘yes’ to that question, keep standing and walking with your feet turned out. No change required there.
If however, you want your pelvic floor to function properly now, during labour, after birth and beyond, you may not realise the relationship between your butt and your feet.
When you stand/walk/climb stairs/run/do exercise/whatever(!) with your feet turned out, you’re effectively moving the muscle fibres from the sides of your own butt where they should be, right around to back of your own butt.
You’ve shortened the muscles of your own butt, putting them into a compromised, tight, switched off position.
NB – if you sit on your butt a lot, how much work do you think those guys are getting back there? Zilch. Zip. Nada. Nothing. And, neither is your pelvic floor either.
Your gluteals play a huge role in pelvic floor function and many people I see with pelvic floor dysfunction suffer with ‘flat arse syndrome’ and ‘duck feet’ and it’s the first thing I assess using my biomechanics skillz.
Does it take long to fix your feet so they’re better aligned? No. It just takes patience and practise.
Do the clients I see with pelvic floor weakness see benefits from ‘unducking’ their feet? Yes, I have immense success with this.
I cover this and so much more in my “Your Pelvic Matters” pelvic floor exercise classes
Coming soon to Nottingham! Click here to book your space!