Feet and foot articles at A great Massage

Feet and foot articles at A great Massage
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Best Massage Music available Joggers Feet, Part II
by Michael L. Hauser, Foot Specialist
Denver, Colorado

(This article is part of the Foot Health Series at A Great Massage.  See below for more articles about feet and foot health.)

Many joggers run incorrectly. They run in one direction only...forward. If a weight lifter did nothing except curls every day he would build a strong biceps muscle, but the antagonistic triceps muscle would become weaker. We have all seen the weight lifter who walks around with his elbows bent at a 30 degree angle due to the pull of a strong biceps muscle against the weak triceps. The jogger who only runs forward makes the same mistake as that weight lifter. She or he will build very nice calf muscles, but will leave the antagonistic leg muscles weak and ineffectual.

We can extend this line of reasoning to include the muscles on the insides and outsides of the legs. In a typical jogging program, these muscles have no chance to develop. An example of unbalanced muscle development of the legs was brought to my attention some years ago when I was coaching high school football. I noticed that very few of my halfbacks had shin splints or achillies tendon and hamstring muscle problems. The only difference in their training was that the defensive halfbacks practiced running backwards and sideways. With this in mind, I started having the entire team devote some time to multi-directional running, and soon noticed a decrease in leg injuries for all personnel.

I advise all my joggers to spend part of their training backwards or sideways. Start off with short distances of 10 or 15 yards each direction and gradually build up. Be sure to pick an area that is flat and free of holes or obstacles so that you won't have to be treated for a sprain or fracture.

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