FOOT FUNCTION AND MULTI-PLANAR MOVEMENT TRAINING

Functional training is defined as movement or exercise that improve a person’s ability to complete daily activities or achieve a specific performance or sports goal.

The fitness industry often labels movements that are multi-planar, multi joint or performed on an unstable surface as ‘functional’.

Despite the different definitions of ‘functional movement’ it is generally accepted that human movement begins from the ground up and that single leg/unipedal stability is the foundation of locomotive and athletic function.

Functional Testing Grids and the Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) are well established as clinical tools, and are considered to be reliable methods of measuring functional limitations in range of movement at the ankle, knee and hip.

Although the foot is the beginning of the kinetic chain assessed by these functional tests, its influence on the test results is rarely considered. The foot’s structural stability and its ability to react to and control the effects of gravity and ground reaction force (GRF) will have a profound effect on the range and quality of movement observed during testing and training.

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