Foot Drills

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Adapted from original by Dr. Russ Ebbets, DC

Running is a ground contact sport. The foot must sustain 7x the body weight while running and up to 20x body weight in jumping activities. This micro trauma, repeated thousands of times, can lead to overuse injuries. According to the Rice study 79% of running injuries are from the knee down. By adding 4 minutes to your daily training plan you can provide efficient and effective injury prevention to the lower leg.

Foot drills can prevent shin splints, achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, and lessen the chance of ankle sprains and knee problems by challenging the foot with various gaits. Each foot strike becomes more “sure,” so the foot contacts the ground without a wobble, however slight that wobble might be. This “sure foot strike” eliminates overuse syndromes.

Foot drills will also make you faster. Foot “wobble” is actually a lateral side to side motion. Speed is generated straight ahead. If on each foot strike there is a wobble or lateral motion before there is forward motion, time is lost. If ground contact time can be reduced 1/100th of a second (it takes 14/100ths to blink an eye) the cumulative effect can drastically improve performance. In a mile this reduced ground contact time translates to an 8-10 second difference and in the 10K it means 50-60 seconds. A substantial improvement made in the blink of an eye, one step at a time.

  • Perform drills barefoot for 25 meters on a flat surface, preferably grass. Total time to do drills is about 3 minutes.
  • Consistent use of the foot drills will diminish or abate shin splints, plantar fasciitis, achilles tendinitis and knee problems.
  • Results will be subtle but noticeable in 2-3 weeks – decrease in injuries, improved cornering, improved jumping ability.