It has been widely talked about all the negatives of having a flat foot or low ankle bone when it comes to sports performance. In today's post, I will go over all the positives that come from having flat feet and how they can actually make you faster.
To start, Usain Bolt, the greatest sprinter of all time, is flat-footed. There are many professional basketball players and countless athletes/sprinters who are flat-footed and do incredibly well in the sports they play. Also, about 20-25% of people are generally flat-footed.
For instance, having flat feet gives you the unique ability as an athlete to absorb shock better as compared to someone with a regular arch. Overall, there’s NO evidence to support that flat foot negatively impacts your performance or your speed.
Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of having flat feet and how they can make you faster:
Believe it or not, you are less injury-prone with a flat arch than somebody who has a high arch. It’s because a flat foot creates more flexibility within the foot that is incredible for shock absorption in comparison to a high arch which has less flexibility.
The key thing to bear in mind is that it’s not about what you are born with that makes the difference, it’s about how you train and strengthen your feet to make sure they are a strength when it comes to speed and not a weakness.
Better Landing Mechanics
Athletes with flat feet can do an excellent job of controlling their landing phase while sprinting. Additionally, typically when first hitting the ground the foot is in a more supinated position than when landing wants to pronate in order to stabilize and absorb force, this is where the flat foot is actually an advantage. Now you can overly pronate when landing which will cause too much time spent on the ground which is why having a flat foot got a bad reputation. Like I said before you must train to properly stabilize during the landing in order to utilize having flat feet as an advantage.
After the foot pronates to stabilize the landing it also goes right back into extension which is why having the added flexibility is a huge benefit when it comes to max speed potential.
Important Points to Consider
- When your heel drops, it’s called pronation, and when the arch is coming up, it’s called supination. If we compare two athletes, one has a flat foot and the other doesn’t, we notice that even people who don’t have problems with arches don’t necessarily have good landing mechanics.
- A person with high arches can find it difficult to get into a pronated position; whereas, the athlete who has flat feet gets into pronation rather quickly. However, the latter will be significantly faster than the former.
- You don’t have to correct your flat foot, regular arch, and high arch. All you need to know is to be able to utilize your body mechanics correctly to be a successful sprinter.
- If you have flat feet, you’d want to spend some time strengthening your arch for better body control and movement. There are many different balance exercise and arch exercises to do in order to train your feet to be strong. Here is a video of some great exercises: https://youtu.be/aPg77f2TCjM
There are so many potential anatomical differences in the foot so at the end of the day the feet are not the reason for success or failure. It is how you utilize your feet that really makes a difference. This includes the toes and ankles as well. The big toe must have great flexibility to maximize vertical push-off. The ankles must properly bend and stabilize to help the feet absorb the force into the ground.
Also, Must Read: Top 10 Secrets To Improve Speed Immediately
There are hundreds upon thousands of pounds of force being generated in each step when sprinting. In order to get the most out of each step, you have to use all the muscles, joints, ligaments, and bones you can.
Feel free to check out our official website and find a suitable program that can help you become a better athlete. Our programs have plenty of workouts to help build your feet as well as speed, jumping power, deceleration, and much more!
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Have a great day!