Feet are one of the most misunderstood and misaligned parts of the body. It's quite a challenge to direct fitness or movement class participants in how to use the feet more efficiently when people may be more concerned with elongating the legs or deepening the abdominals.
Above is a page from High Heel Healing: Using the Feet & Legs Efficiently for Improving Posture and Enhancing Exercise & Sports - a new e-book by Herald. Click the link to view a full e-book preview.
It's a very common and often-employed cue to "connect sits bones to heels." But the heels - being the backside of the feet - have relationship to many other points in the back body system: the heels have a triangular relationship to the tail bone which helps stabilize the sacrum and elongate lumbar vertebrae.
The heels have a relationship to the sacroiliac joints - which are actually the top of the ilium bones and grant someone a sense of feeling the leg lines above the butt. The sacroiliac joints are also the lower attachment of the latissimus dorsi - through its connective tissue - how the heels are used helps low back support.
The heels have relationship to the expansion of the two lowest pairs of ribs - often called the"floating ribs," because these ribs do not attach around to the frontal sternum. Because these ribs have much more movement potential, the floating ribs have to do with deep breathing into the lower lobes of the lungs. So feeling the heels subtly expand back helps the backside ribs expand subtly also.
sits bones, hamstrings and sacroiliac
the ball-shaped femur heads
lumbar spine and tail bone
latissimus dorsi and trapezius
the pairs of floating ribs
scapulae and occipital points
The heels also relate to the ball-shaped femur heads - levering heels back away from arches and ankles helps deepen the heads into the dome-shaped ball-and-socket joints. Thus the heel-to-femur-head relationship helps to support the weight of the hip bones and also helps elongate the waistline.
The paired heels - through lower-body relationships to tail bone, femur heads, and ilium bones, thus set up the grounding dynamic for the lats and trapezius to better-support the thoracic spine. Heels-to-hamstrings-to-sits-bones-to-hips creates the condition for the scapulae to stabilize and the occipital points to align in such a way that the weight of the head is well-supported off the neck.
There are over 500 photos & illustrations in this new High Heel Healing E-Book which teach from both skeletal & muscular points of view how the heels, being in the backside of the feet, relate to very important posture points all along the backside of the body - including the entire spinal line.
You'll view the skeleton from full backside and partially-turned three-quarter views - and directional arrows help you understand the heels-to-back-body and spinal-support relationships so you will then be able to better-inform the students you teach.
You can expand many of the interactive images so that you can zoom in or out on what it is you'd like to emphasize - and you can take notes directly in this e-book.
You can also recommend the e-book to your students so that the student can take notes before or after their classes with you and so they'll more-efficiently use the information you teach and ask questions more easily and specifically to understand the exercises you teach them.
There are exercises and activities shown using a roller under the knees as well as a stability ball under the heels. There are moves performed from sitting poses which teach better seated support as well as stretches for the piriformis, ways to better-lengthen the hamstrings and ways to better-release tight calves. There's info on everything from plantar fasciitis to sciatica, sacroiliac stability, and ankle mobility.
Even though the e-book is titled High Heel Healing, the information is not merely for women, not merely for women who wear high heels. It's truly a comprehensive book about foot function for spinal support, so there are many men who could get advice about hamstrings, ITB and lower back as well - and it can help women wear any type of shoe more comfortably - and it will assist both men and women to exercise, walk, run, sit and cycle more efficiently.
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Also read the Related articles shown below for more ways to use the heels.
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