5 Ways Flat Feet “F” Up Your Workouts!! (EXERCISES TO FIX THEM!)

5 Ways Flat Feet “F” Up Your Workouts!! (EXERCISES TO FIX THEM!)


What’s up, guys? Jeff Cavaliere, ATHLEANX.COM. If you’ve got flat feet and you’re working
out, then this is one video that you can’t miss. Today I’m going to show you 5 ways that flat
feet are flat out f***ing you up in your workouts. And I’m going to explain each one of them
to you today. I’m going to have Raymond show you on his own body why that is. And most importantly, I’m going to show you
2 ways that you can try to start fixing it yourself. Alright, so we’ve got a big video here, an
important video. Raymond got dressed up for it. That just shows you how important this
really is. Especially if you’ve got flat feet. As I said,
there are 5 ways that it is really really effecting your workouts. And I’m going to start by showing you down
at the ground exactly what’s going on with our feet. And then you can start to understand why it’s
so bad and what it’s implications are for your workouts. Alright. So, let’s take a look at these feet
and see what I’m talking about when I say flat feet. Again, you know if you have them
what’s going on. But for those that don’t, this is what’s important.
You’re supposed to have spacing here on the inside of your foot. You’re supposed to have a natural arch, ok,
some room in here to actually get, I don’t know, even a pen or something on the ground that you can still stand over and not squoosh
it to the ground. Here, you can see that that would be impossible. There’s absolutely no space here for my hand.
That is an absence of an arch. Now, there’s a lot of things that can cause this, guys. There can be congenital/inherited things.
There can be just general laxity. There could be dysfunctions of the muscles themselves. There’s not really a real definitive cause
but when you have them, you’ve got to do something about treating them. So, I’m going to get into the exact ways that
this is going to cause a problem and then show you how to, most importantly, try to
combat this and fix this yourself. Ok, first up, and a real big one here, especially
if you guys are squatting at all, you’re going to have a real hard time maintaining proper
squat mechanics if you’re squatting with uncorrected flat
feet. The reason being is, all you have to do is
look at what happens on the ground. I talk about it all the time, guys. It’s a chain reaction. Everything starts from
the ground up. You can see that on this side here, that when the foot has an arch, it allows the ankle, knee, and hip to stay
in alignment because that arch elevates the foot just enough to keep that tibia right
here in line with the knee, right here in line with the hip, ok. So, everything
can kind of move in line the way it’s supposed to. This is a little bit exaggerated here, but
you can see down at the ground, when the arch is collapsed, what happens is, the heel kicks out to the
side here, and it brings the tibia and it rotates it inward. As soon as you do this, you’re obviously causing
a torque right here at the knee because this inward rotation here at the tibia causes this
torquing. So, you’re probably going to have some knee
pain. We’ll talk about that again in a little while, but it also completely misaligns this
track, ok. The track is now off-track, as we say, and
I’ve said before, the patella runs on a track. It should run nice and straight up here like
this. Here it obviously is not. You’re going to
have some knee issues. You’re then going to have implications up here at the hip. You’re not going to be able to really keep
your knees out the way you should during a squat because it’s already internally rotated
and caving in this way. You could get some ligament stress on the
inside of the knee, and then up here at your back. Obviously if you’re having hip issues, you’re
going to get compensations at your back and that can cause a whole host of issues too. So, we want to make sure that if we’re going
to be squatting, we’ve got to do something about these flat feet. Ok. Number 2. You’re going to get knee stress
and even hip stress, really, for that matter, and back stress with jumping if you don’t
have a good solid arch. Why? Because this arch down here allows for
an eccentric loading of the foot to allow you to actually absorb the landing. Think about it. Even in your quads when you
do a jump, and you jump and you land. If you jump and you land with straight legs, you
have no absorption of that landing. But if you allow your knees to bend into a
squat, you let the quads take on the eccentric loading so you can soften the landing. The same thing happens down here at the foot.
If you have a nice arch here, when you land, you absorb it through this excursion from
up top, down to a flat foot. If you look at it over here, this person has
jumping and landing, they’ve got no room, right? They’re landing flat every single time. There is no eccentric slowing down or loading
of that foot to take away some of the stress that gets thrown up into the knee, and then
up into the hip and obviously into the low back. So, think about it. Box Jumps, Jumping Jacks,
Jump Rope, all the things that you could be doing, anything that you’re doing where you
have to be jumping. Even explosive lifts like Hang Cleans, if
you’re not really absorbing down here at the foot, then you’re really sending all that
shock, it’s got to go somewhere, guys. You’re sending all that shock up into the
knee, up into the hip, and into the back. Ok. So, now listen up all you running athletes.
If you have flat feet, you’re going to have a hard time developing adequate running power
and speed. The reason being is there’s 2 main functions
of the feet. The first one we talked about already. It has to be able to adapt to the
surface that you step on. So, when you put your foot down, because the
arch is there, it allows you to eccentrically adapt to that surface. What happens is the midfoot joints here loosen
up, allow you to sort of adapt to whatever the shape and surface is that you’re standing
on, but the second main function of the foot is,
it must be able to become a rigid lever. It has to be a rigid level, one that you can
propel your body off of as you run. So, as the foot goes back into swing phase
and you’re going to now push off to allow yourself to then take your next step, you have to have an ability to lock up this
mid-joint so you go into plantar flexion. You push off your calf, right? You get into plantar flexion. All these joints
in here lock up and now become a real rigid lever. Literally, they functionally become
rigid, mechanically so you can push off with that. Well, someone that has a flat foot, they’re
really doing a much better job of adapting to the surface, but they do a really poor
job of pushing off behind for any power or strength. So, if you’ve got flat feet, good luck trying
to generate as much power as somebody that doesn’t have it. Likely, and especially in sprinting where
every tenth of a second matters, you’re likely going to have a hard time keeping up. Ok, the next issue that we run into is a big
issue I’ve talked about many times on our channel here, glute amnesia, and how that
impacts a lot of the things that we do. Basically, any lower body exercise, because
you want in a perfect world, the glutes to be working with the hamstrings, alright. If they go to sleep and if they have amnesia
and they’re not working as well as they should, you put a lot more stress on the hamstring
than it should have because it really wants to work in concert
with the glutes together. So, how do we do that? What’s causing it?
Well, you’ve got to go back again to the original thing, as I said. When the foot collapses, then the tibia collapses
as well, when that happens, the knee kicks in. You get torque on the knee. The hip becomes
internally rotated. So now when the hip is internally rotated
here, what happens? The muscles that externally rotate the hips, especially the glute medius
kind of go on constant stretch and a long stretch, and they become weak. So, you get long, stretched
out glute medius they get weak. As soon as those become weak, as I’ve said, now you’ve taken out a huge chunk of muscle
who’s real main function is to assist in all of your lower body strengthening and power
and function. Once that goes to sleep, you’re putting a
hell of a lot of stress on muscles that aren’t really allowed to, or strong enough to really
take on that role of two and they wind up getting hurt so you can get
hamstring injuries. You can get, again, back issues because again the muscles above and
below, the non-functioning muscles usually going
to wind up having an issue. So, glute amnesia, a bad thing, but it’s really starting all the way down
here at the foot because of what’s going on with that arch. Finally, we’ve got the other issues that you
see. Again, I’ve already talked about a whole bunch, but patellar tendonitis and plantar
fasciitis. Two big things that wind up usually following
in sequence with somebody that’s got chronically flat feet. Why? Because you can see that if this foot
collapses like this one over here is, if it collapses down to the ground, you’ve got constant tension stress on the
plantar fascia underneath your foot. If that’s the case, you get just this constant pulling.
It’s not really an inflammatory condition. It’s actually just a chronic degeneration
of that tendon because of the pulling on both sides of its attachments. So, that’s one major
issue. The second is patellar tendonitis, and we
talked about his in our knee video. It’s this whole train and track discussion that we’ve
had. If you want the train which is the patella,
to ride up and down on that track correctly, then you better make sure you keep that track
straight. If you’re going to start bending and warping
the track this way, that’s going to happen if you screw something up down at the ground
here, then that patella is not going to have a real
easy time following up and down smoothly on here. You’re going to get patellar issues,
tracking issues, which are going to lead to a lot of pain in
your patellar tendon which can feel like little knives going in every single time you squat.
Certainly something that you don’t want. So, most importantly, those are 5 big ways
that these are screwing with your workouts, but I want to try to show you a couple things
that you might be able to do to strengthen those muscles down here at the
foot to get them a little bit more well-equipped to handle the stresses from above. Alright, so here’s the 2 areas that we want
to attack if you want to start trying to strengthen the muscles in here. Again, people might run and get orthotics,
and that’s a decent way to try to act as a crutch, but it’s not doing anything to actually
fix the problem. It’s just filling in the gap here that you
don’t have in terms of your arch. So, if we want to really try to get at this, you want to look at the muscles that might
potentially be weak that are causing what’s going on. The first thing I want to be able to do is
start strengthening the muscles actually in your big toe. Believe it or not, this big
toe here can have a lot of force and power. And assist you in lifting up your arch by
being able to flex against the force of gravity and against your own weight. So, I’m going to show you an exercise that
will target that and allow you to start doing that. Secondly, we want to start working on a muscles
called the posterior tibialis, right. So what I do is I attached this rubber band here to
sort of see its function. And basically it originates here on your tibia,
it comes down and attaches right here in our midfoot. So, you can see that this is literally, when
this contracts it’s holding up the arch. If I were to take this off, you see the arch
collapses. So what happens is, a lot of times people
have a weakness in this muscle. They don’t have enough strength in this muscle to actually
hold up and support the arch. So, if there’s a way that we can actually
strengthen this posterior tibialis, that would be awesome because we can get this to them
hook on again, and it will allow it. Not hook on. It’s always attached, but you
know, the function of being able to lift this arch by making it a lot more strong and be
able to pull that up. Alright, so first we want to cover that exercise
that will help us to get those intrinsic muscles underneath our toes to try to get a little
bit stronger. So all I have here, and all you’ll need, is
a quarter. And you want to take, again, and excuse my ugly feet here. My ugly flat feet.
They’re like flippers. You want to take the big bone right here at
the base of your toe and step on the quarter right at that spot, ok. So right there. Now, all you’re trying to
do here is push as hard as you can into the ground with the front of your toes here especially
your big toe, and you want to try to do that, and what you’re
doing is, you’re trying to lift up the arch. Again, I’ve got incredibly flat feet. They
basically lay down there as usual. But if I can actually press, you can see I can create
a little bit of an arch. You just want to make sure that you stay in
contact with that quarter the entire time because what you’ll likely want to do is start
rolling off. And if you start rolling off, it either lifts
up with you or you lift off the quarter, that’s not what you want, ok. So, you want to just get in here in this position
again. The quarter’s under that toe. You push the toes into the ground. And you’re trying to keep, again, your heel
stays on the ground, and you’re trying to keep that arch as engaged as you possibly
can. And it usually is an isometric. You try to
hold on to that for about 20, 30 seconds if you can. Rest, and do it about 4 or 5 times. You try to do that at least 3 or 4 times a
week to try to build up a tolerance and a strength in that area. And the second exercise here, we want to go
after that posterior tibialis, like I told you just a second ago. Again, the function of that muscle when it’s
toned, when it’s strong, it’s going to support that arch. It’s going to pull the arch up and give you
that arch that maybe you lack right now. So, the way we want to do that is we want to work
in this sort of single-leg, standing band rotation drill where you’re going to set up with the and
anchored somewhere on the outside of the foot that you’re trying to train. So, here I’m trying to train my right foot.
I’ve got the band anchored somewhere to the outside of my right side. And I’m going to just try to pull the band
across my body. Really, all you’re trying to do is just disturb your balance. So, it doesn’t have to be all that smooth,
doesn’t have to be in a particular direction. And you’ll start to see, especially if you
have flat feet, that inner side of your foot is going to light up. That posterior tib is going to really light
up to try to prevent you from falling off to the side. You’ll see that if I were to let the band
just pull me at will, it would basically pull me all the way out to my side here. I didn’t hurt my foot, and I basically fall
off to the right side. To combat that, I’ve got to use this muscle to try to really work
to hold me down in position. And again, over time, that’s going to help
to lift your arch. Yeah. It’s weird because you’re actually trying to flatten it here
for the purpose of this exercise, but that’s what this muscle will do. When
it’s strong, it will actually have the support that you need and act as a sling to hold that
arch up. So long term is exactly what you want to try
to do. Combine this with the intrinsic exercise I showed you before, you could be well on your way to actually
combating this without needing any kind of orthotic. So, there you have it guys. ATHLEANX putting
the science back in strength. Again, a little bit in depth here, especially for those guys
who are experiencing flat feet. You’ve got to know about how it’s impacting
your workouts, and more importantly, hopefully have some weapons in your arsenal to try to
combat that. Everything matters, guys, especially when
you’re going to start looking at the function of strength realizing that everything starts
from the ground, and it works it’s way up because our whole
body is one kinetic chain. If you don’t start working on the ground and fixing the stuff
that’s down there, you’re going to have a whole lot of stuff
that goes wrong up through the rest of your body. And that’s what we’re all about here, guys.
We’re applying physical therapy and some of the advanced training principles to your training
to help you get more out of it. It doesn’t have to be flat feet. It can be
a whole lot of other things that you’re dealing with. The most important thing is if you’re
attacking them with science behind you, you’re going to start seeing faster and better
results, and that’s what we do with our ATHLEANX Training Program. If you haven’t already, head to ATHLEANX.COM
right now. Use the exact same training program that I use with top Pro Athletes to get yourself in the best shape of your
entire life, and stronger, faster and functioning better than ever before. Alright guys, leave a comment below. If you
have flat feet, let me know. And if you found this video helpful, let me know. And whatever else you’d like to see, just
let me know that too because I’ll make a video on it, I promise.

100 thoughts on “5 Ways Flat Feet “F” Up Your Workouts!! (EXERCISES TO FIX THEM!)”

  1. I fixed my flat feet on right foot using the coin exercise. But left one is too low, so gotta work on both exercises together.

  2. I’m literally exactly like this skeleton. My right arch is perfect and my left is completely effing flat. Running is a bitch and lifting is so uneven. Nerve pain in only one leg, can’t get even strength in my legs and even my grip is numb in one hand. Really sucks but trying to lift through it !!!

  3. I know this video is old, but I'm only 17 years old and I have partially flat feet, when sitting down I have somewhat of an arch, and i was diagnosed with excessive pronation last year. My whole life I didn't realize anything was wrong with my feet, until my friends kept asking why I walk so weird and I noticed how my shoes were so worn in the insides and i had horrible overpronation. I had no pain at all until my podiatrist had me wear thick insoles with high arch support shoes, and it's been a year with them and I always wear them but I always get horrible pain when wearing these shoes, I get knee and back and foot pain constantly and it feels amazing to just walk barefoot. In my case, I don't want to have to deal with this foot pain my whole life and since my arches haven't totally collapsed, is it worth it to remove my insoles and do foot exercises, my main question is do you think I can regain natural support from my arches or would it be a total waste of my time to do exercises all the time? I just hate having pain at the age of 17 and I really hope I can fix my arches so I don't have to deal with chronic pain the rest of my life.

  4. What about cramps right behind the ball of your feet? For my left foot, if I attempt to contract like in the coin exercise, it immediately cramps up and I get forced to stop.

  5. It’s fascinating how actually flat feet could affect a whole body. I inherited my flat feet and it’s always been my down fall because all workouts with a trainer gave me a lot of back and knee pain . Only after a good stretch (30-40) min I felt better, but knee pain always there. After cooperating exercises for flat feet I finally start seeing results on my legs and gluts

  6. Thank you for this life changing video. My feet are the foundation to my whole body. And you have shown me the importance of strengthening it for conditioning! This is so true and inspirational

  7. I have unfortunately been born with completely flat feet. my knees are fucked from flat feet. this video is a game changer.

  8. Sry but I outta react this with my native language „ YA SEN VAR YA GÖRDÜGÜM EN BÜYÜK ADAMLARDAN BIRISIN BÜYÜK ADAMSIN FIZYOTERAPISTLEE BURDAN 400 tl gomerdi bir sessionda ayrica anatomi sevdalisi olarak ciddi, islevselligi olan bilgiler veriyorsun bilgilendiriyorsun büyük adamsin adam adam adam adam eksiklerin var senin bile ama bunu okuyan türk olursa diye sesleniyorum(sanki okucak aq) mal mal eksico elitistligine girip artistlik taslama yeni yeni yetmeler bu kadar okuyip gelisip gelismeyecegi belli olmayan anzavurlar akliniz varsa övünmeyin sizi ezeriz cunku(artistlenen tiplere mesajdi bu), digerlerine helal olsun türk fitness inin acil gelismesi lazim ve bizim besyo mallardan ibaret sanki 1 sene spor yapip sonra hayatimin seyi bu yeaaaa diyip kendini gelistirmeden giren fizyoterapist tipleri riff rafflar, spor sonrasi avokado, pinar sikimsonik sutle sporu biliyom ben ya angutluguna sahip olan, ise sahip olsam yea diyen fizyoterapist adaylarina buradan sevgilerle( is bulamayan hepsi degil tabi adettendir)

  9. I have this issue with my feet, I am a 49 year old basketball player and over the years I've experienced a decline in my agility,and I have balance issues. Along with bad knees and back. I will begin doing these exercises to combat my issues. I really want to raise my arch as well. Thank you for the helpful information and instruction. From Coach Clay.

  10. very useful, trying to follow u and fix it by myself from today
    one thing, is flat feet also contributes anterior pelvic tilt? as u mentioned the glute is somehow weak when one suffer from flat feet.

  11. Really man! I've got all that and experience the pain each and every time i squat but is it true that flat foot people have strong legs cause it's just been a month or 2 of me actually training and since beginning i have immense leg strength and have a measurement of 26 inches

  12. YUP. Also if you experience knee pain but do not have a knee injury, check your spine.

    Turns out not only do I suffer over pronation but the year I spent on/off a cane post my year of doing deadlifts (that were to strengthen my walking issues which did work for a time before I hit no return) despite everything I was doing for my feet, my spine had a small enough curve to cause a uneven loading on my glutes as one was always too tight. After seeing an Osteopath for 6 sessions (they used a medical vibrational devices to break up plantar scar tissue and helped realign my spine, way better than the outcome of a massage) I can deadlift small amounts again.

    Thanks so much for these videos, seriously helpful in my recovery. 🙂

  13. I’m a bit late to comment but question: is it good to continue to run while getting strong with anterior and posterior tibial tendons? I figure if I run with inserts and work out my “arch” just like what you said on this video, then I should be getting stronger? Please let me know if it’s good to run. My goal is to run two marathons, 50 miler, and a 100 miler. Thanks!

  14. Long time i watched a video of yours looking like this, how far uve Come! been working on a halgus vallux issue for about 8 months now and this is spot on, plantar faciatiis, knee pain weak gluteus, exp medius et minimus, back pain. I ve improced alot, and im gonna start incorperate these exercises too. Thank you boss! 💪

  15. Has anyone on here had problems with patellar tendons from having flat feet? Do orthotics or sole inserts help at all?

  16. If you are born with flat feet but have a strong tibialis posterior, it is ok as long as you keep yourself from overpronating. Those who are not born with flat feet (they have arches) will get flat feet if their tibialias posterior weakens. They then get flat feet because the postieror tibialis becomes unable to stabalize the arch and it collapse and your foot overpronates.. The arch height doesn't neccesarilly matter; the strength of the posterior tibialis does, which stabilizes the arch and keeps your foot from overpronating.

  17. I have a flat feet, never had a problem before in-fact I was one of the fastest 100 m runner in high school. But recently (31 years old now) I started to have pain in my knee and I think it originated because I started doing squats and I overlooked my flat feet issue which led this issue.
    This video is very informative, keep up the good work!

  18. Hey Jeff, I also have another method, I am bending the bones slowly so they can over time become an arch, but strengthing the muscles is good too.

  19. I started 6 month ago with these exercises. Had a slight flat feet now there is space (it can better but there is progress). I still have some over pronation, any tips for that?

  20. I have flat feet now and I am pretty sure it is indirectly caused by surgery I had years ago.
    I didn't notice until it was too late.

  21. SHOAIB AKHTAR the fastest bowler on Earth clocked 159 Kph at the age of 36 with flat feet🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰🇵🇰

  22. Thank you. My son has extremely flat feet, and we are starting to work out more but his knees are taking a beating on simply jumping rope. I bought jumpsoles to get his feet off the ground but I'm worried about the outcome of using those to jump rope. He loves it so far. What do you think??

  23. But if it's genetic how can you fix it? I have it since I was born, No matter how hard I'll try it will still be flat.

  24. Flat feet, but also flat feet that point outwards. The feetdoctor (yeah, dont know how they call them in English and way to lazy to look it up) told me that it was a great combo, because my knees aren't useless because of it.

    Still trying to correct my flat feet, but forcing my feet to point straight won't do any good. I can perform squats and they will be just as healthy and effective as any other person out there. Only difference is that my knees are pointing outwards.

  25. Than you very F much!! You should put this video in the spanish version of the channel!! It's very helpful.

  26. My kid has flat feet with what apparently the doctor said really tight Achilles tendon mostly one side if thst day its bad she get even hip pain ,back and neck , if ill find a physical therapist as jeff probably she wont need surgery thats what doctor said , any suggestions anyone.

  27. born with flat feet, seems like there's no way to really fix it. Been questioning lately how much i can really be exercising. sometimes i'll have super intense cramps in which it feels like the bones in my feet are getting dislocated. I've never been able to move my toes or anything.

  28. That actually explains a whole fucking lot more than I expected. Weak glutes, bad at sprinting, foot hurting when running… Screw my feet

  29. I went to the physio about recurring problems with Achilles Tendonitis and Plantar Fasciitis. She remarked that my feet were the flattest she'd ever seen. For me, the combination of Achilles Tendonitis, Plantar Fasciitis, and flat feet have been the biggest hindrance to progressing. I am in a constant and painful cycle of injury and slow recovery. I try to run and manage the pain levels, but I am now at the point where I have the potential to run a lot faster than I do but hold back in the knowledge that pushing myself to that fastest point will result in 6 months of agony and a very slow recovery.

  30. I'm curious about lifting my arch while doing the exercise my knee rotates out as I perform the lift. Does this mean I'm doing arch lift incorrectly

  31. I started doing the excercises shown here two weeks ago and I already have less pain in my feet and hips after walking and standing. Thank you for these useful tips, Jeff!

  32. Sorry in advance for my bad grammar.
    What about hallux valgus AKA bunion?
    Does it kill my gains?
    Unfortunately i got them and my big toes are rotated and pointed towards little ones. However, i dont feel pain while squating or other stuff but the feet muscles are f up especially big toe mobility muscles (abductor adductor and flexors), i cant use short flexor …
    I have applied for surgery but i dont know when will it be lol because doctors have to examine this first.

  33. I have feet as flat or flatter than Jeff here, and I took the other approach which totally didn't work: overstrengthening my glutes and outer quads. The end result was instead of inner knee pain, I just get even worse IT band pain. So fix the feet is the lesson!

  34. Thanks so much
    After working out for a year I had severe pain in my foot not letting me do any leg days. I use to hate them now I understand why.
    I have flat feet all through my childhood me and my mom use to wonder how come my shoes wear off only on inner sides. — now I understand
    I had multiple ankle sprains did therapies spent -7000$ but no one said it’s bcoz of flat feet. I wonder what the hell were they doing with my feet.
    Recently went to podiatrist and she immediately said have severe flat feet and that tells why knee pain hip pain.

  35. I went to the physical therapist and they told me this same exercise as the 1st one but with 1.5min hold and 20x, is that too long and is it correct?

  36. Thanks a lot Athlean. I wanted to fix my flat feet but i figured out why my knees are hurt some times during my workout. THANKS A LOT AGAIN.

  37. Man i have it Really Bad too…. i was born with flat feet, tight hips and tight hamstrings 🙁 its makes it impossible to do squats

  38. Thank you so much for the explanation, finally somebody who shows the small and the big picture if this problem, and exercise to combat it. For my part stretching is my secondary need as well, but still nobody told me before how to strengthen the arch.

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