I’ve posted new progress photos and measurements this morning. It’s really phenomenal to see the changing shape of the arch in the right foot. This week I didn’t expect much of a difference because I was focusing more on postural correction exercises so the picture surprised me. The arch measurements were still both less than 1.0 (which is a good thing–the goal now is 0.8). This arch index was 0.98 for both sides compared to last week when it was 0.96, so no real changes there.
The left arch seems resistant to changing and I still haven’t figured out what I need to do to push that along. The best explanation I can think of is that there is a bit of an inverse relationship between the sides, so as this right side goes up the left goes down??? This partially makes sense because I know a component of correcting the pronation on the right involves a postural shift toward the right side (because the right foot was worse off it was causing me to stand with my weight shifted to the left).
The postural exercises are going well although I only did them twice this week so far. I’m still doing between 5 and 10 minutes of actual arch exercises daily and I’ve decided to reintroduce the downward dog stretch. I stopped doing that stretch to experiment with some different exercises but I feel like it was really helpful and don’t think my flexibility is where it needs to be yet for that movement.
I’ve never done much yoga so I may be completely altering the way you’re supposed to do the downward dog but here’s my method: I stand with my feet shoulder-width apart and then reach down and put my hands on the floor in front of me while keeping the arch from collapsing (this involves having to bend my knees a little). Once my hands are on the floor I then try and straighten my knees while keeping the heels down–which I still struggle with.
Last week I mentioned I was getting some pain on the outside of my right knee during runs, usually around the 2 mile mark, which I initially thought was iliotibial band syndrome but now think it is related to the peroneal muscles on the outside of the lower leg getting a workout from running in the new minimalist shoes. It doesn’t bother me at all walking and doesn’t seem to be getting worse but it’s still frustrating. I’d rather not have to take a break from running. I may switch to just doing sprint workouts for a while until that subsides. I’m hoping that as I continue the exercises and get more adjusted to running in the new shoes it will go away.
Happy Friday everyone!
Update: A lot of exciting things have happened since this last progress report. Firstly, it seems the soreness in my right calf was just the muscles getting used to running in the minimalist shoes and resolved fairly quickly. I think my right calf started out less developed than the left, so now it’s finally catching up.
I’ve gotten a lot of requests for creating a list of all the exercises I’ve worked on. To save people the trouble of sifting through old blog posts I’ve created a page for what I consider some of the best exercises for flat feet.
I’m very excited about the new membership option. Because I worked on so many different exercises and modified or progressed a lot of the basic ones as my arch strength improved, I created a special section of the site that contains more comprehensive routines and tutorials. I’m really excited about this new feature and I am continually working to expand and improve on some of the good content that’s already available. Hope to see you there!