The arch of the foot is formed by the tarsal and metatarsal bones and is strengthened by ligaments and tendons that enable the foot to correctly support the weight of the body.
The underside of the foot is made up of four layers of muscle tissue as well as a length of thick connective tissue called the plantar fascia, which supports the arch. Natural: Ancient exercise systems like Yoga and martial arts have long advocated training barefootFlat feet affect about 15 per cent of Britons.
Conventional solution: Orthotic shoe inserts force the feet into an arched position by gradually realigning the muscles and tendons'These exercises treat the foot holistically. But the latest craze for barefoot exercise may offer more than just a novel workout and an excuse to give your feet a break from trainers.Podiatrists are extolling the virtues of foot exercise because a growing number of those suffering with flat feet are throwing out their orthotics – orthopaedic supports – in favour of a routine that has quickly and cheaply cured them of the often painful condition.

If the surrounding muscles weaken, the plantar fascia will drop and the arch will collapse. Although usually genetic, the condition may be exacerbated or triggered by poorly fitted shoes or conditions such as arthritis and pregnancy, when sudden changes in shape and weight can alter the body's centre of gravity leading to a weakening of the arches. By working the leg muscles you are stabilising the ankle and providing the foot's arch with a much sturdier support,' says Beaumont.
If the arch collapses, the whole foot touches the ground, which is known as pes planus or flat feet.
Weight is incorrectly distributed across the lower half of the body, which can lead to the foot rolling inwards, a condition known as overpronation, which can cause problems including poor posture, pain in the lower back, knee, hip and foot pain, bunions and shin splints.

By moving and landing on the sole of the foot, as opposed to the heel, the chances of injury are reduced as less impact is put on the joints.'There is no such thing as a miracle cure for flat feet,' says Supple. They can also take between five and ten years to correct the problem and must be worn at all times.In contrast, foot exercise is free, there is no need to wear the often unsightly inserts and it takes two months for results to be felt if carried out for ten minutes a day.

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Category: Superfeet

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