Is the Short Foot always so short?

I was wondering if you cue the short foot on basically every exercise.  (for example Split Squat Variations, Single Leg stance, etc.)
What about even just standing still in every day life.  As long as the whole foot remains on the ground and we give ourselves a bit of an arch it is good, correct?

The key is to engage a movement, a posture, an exercise that naturally leads to the short foot.  If establishing that position is so daunting, a high threshold is warranted, and you probably can even curl the toes.  All of this can jumpstart the pattern but all in a progression so that you don’t have to think about it, or aggressively pull that arch up.  It should happen reflexively, and it should happen in accordance with other good things happening at the hips, spine, and scaps.  All of those distance pieces can drive the short foot in quiet standing.

Here are some excellent options to integrate the short foot from Patrick Ward.


In standing, yes, there should be an arch.  There should also be a tripod buttressing the windlass mechanism of the foot creating that arch.  The 3 points of the short foot are the sesamoid of the big toe, the 5th met head, and relatively the lateral calcaneus.  When that segment is reflexively stable when you engage the floor, there is a lot of firepower available from the rest of the body.

  • May 1, 2011

Leave a Reply 6 comments

Ben Reply

How about those individuals with Pes Cavus?

Charlie Reply

If it’s truly structural, then you must compromise.

Ben Reply

Compromise, as in not worry about it? Or ensure even pressure between the 3 points of support as much as the rigid foot will allow? Or concentrate on posture proximally? Personally, I think short foot is a silly title. When considering other areas in the body that have an arch, eg a lordosis, we talk about neutral. I know they are only about 15% of the population but I think pes cavus deserves more attention.

Rees Reply

How much time/workout would you invest in this? Obviously we want perfect positioning every time but we also can’t be nagging w/ each and every cue in the arsenal every time. What would you do?

Charlie Reply

Compromise I guess means not worrying about it.
Pes Cavus can not be changed if it is truly bony, so I’m not worrying about it.
And I don’t think short foot is silly. I trust Janda.

Hector Reply

Interesting video. I can appreciate the “conscious” cue of getting the “tripod” of the floor for more “firepower” through the rest of the body.

My thoughts would be why isn’t the body choosing to do this naturally with dynamic movements?

Wouldn’t it be better to find out why first?

Hope those questions make sense. Plenty more thoughts on this cool topic.


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