Class #3683

Foot and Ankle Strengthening

35 min - Class


Work on the alignment of your feet and ankles in this workout with Debora Kolwey. This is the first class in the series demonstrating the work that she does with her 85-year old client, Helene, with small props such as the Foot Corrector and Toe Corrector. These small but detailed movements will help you become more aware of the muscles in your feet so you can feel more grounded and stable.
What You'll Need: Cadillac, Foot Corrector, Toe Corrector, Yoga Block, Reformer Box, Magic Circle

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Okay. Should we start with the, with the tow corrector? Okay. Go ahead and put your hands by your sides and you can use your arms as much as you need to to help you keep your back up. Okay. So I really want you to avoid slouching and rolling your pelvis back so you could actually even tip for a little bit more. There you are. And then you can feel the back of your legs on the, on the Cadillac. And just go ahead and press a little bit. Just it's, it's not a relaxed position. Okay?

You're actually trying to sit up as straight as you can and you will get a little tired. So that's where your arms come in to help. I'm gonna put this between your legs because I don't want your thighs to move. Okay? So we're just going to put the toe corrector on your toes, on your big toes, and then he'll tell out one time. So there's already a tiny bit of spring engagement and then doing your best to keep your toes nice and flat. So soft pads just pull out on the spring, back and forth. There you go. And you don't have to squeeze this hard, right?

You're just using the block there to ensure that you're not getting the movement from your legs. Okay? So you don't want to be moving your thighs in and out. You just really want to get the work in your foot and your ankle. There you go a couple more times. Nice, smooth, easy breath, smooth inhales, smooth exhales. And I'm just going to encourage your toes, the actual pads of your toes to stay down so that you're not putting excess tension in your foot. There you go. Nicely done. So we're going to add a little bit of a pattern to this. Okay. So press out, stay out, flex the ankles back, feel that your heel is the pivot point and then bring the legs back together and reach through the big toe side of your foot all the way down.

So breathe in and up and together and reach. There you go. A couple more times out, up center the heel. One more time and press out when you flex back. Try to stay very, very level. Stay out for just a second. Jia let your big toe soften, pull out without flexing your toes back. If you can. There you go.

And now see if you can get a little bit more flex AAPL of your ankle and you feel my hand under your foot and I'm there so that you can be aware that you're not twisting your feet in or out and then come back together and down. Now we're gonna reverse it. So you're going to flex up first and then pull out. And there's going to be a tendency to turn down a little. So we're going to try to keep that even flex so the whole sole of your foot is at the same angle. And now when you come out, reach through the little toe side first and then close the spring. Great job. So up press, keeping the big toe side up as high as the little toe side so there's no twisting down. And then retreat, retreat to reach to that little toe side and together. Couple more times.

Nice breath in and out. Keep soft breathing and together and last time up and press and reach the little toe and together. Okay, good. So I'm going to take this off for now and we're going to do our walking, walking feet. So I'm going to bring this, you can stem to bring this out a little farther so you have a little bit more box under your foot. Okay, so let's do the simple version first. Just lift your heels up and put them down. And now lift your toes up and put them down. That's it.

And so heels up and down and down. There you go. Up and down. And as you come up [inaudible] try not to twist it all. There you go. And when you lift your heels, you don't have to go super high. Just focus on getting a nice spread through all the toes and an equal pressure across the ball of your foot. So up and down a couple more times. That's the easy part, right?

And now what we're gonna do is we're gonna alternate feet. Okay? So on one side, the toes come up and the heel goes, and then switch, switch and switch and switch and switch soft toes. When you're flexed, really concentrate on the contraction up the front of your ankle and as you're pressing into the ball, the foot focus on the arch contracting and the calf. Okay, good and switch. And if it's too confusing to do both at the same time, you can just practice one.

You want to show that so you can just practice one foot. There you go. And as you rise the heel, try not to roll away from your little toe if you feel the difference. So you really want to keep the weight equal across, so center of the heel and then the entire ball of the foot comes down. That's it. Let's do the other side. Really think of like a thumbprint cookie or a dime shaped spot in the middle of your heel. There we go.

That's it. Great. Trying to get the little toe up. Same Height. Okay. Very nice. All right, let's go back and try the alternating. Okay. So you're walking your feet up and down and you can feel that subtle shift in your hips and that feels good. That's it. Nice breathing. Very nice. Okay, great. You can rest. Okay. Now I'm going to give you the magic circle.

So we're going to take this away. And uh, if you could square off just a little more. So the first one we're gonna do is with the magic circle, you can take it and put it between your legs right above your knees. All right? And then if at all possible, he'll tell your feet in. So there's a little bit of a tug on that magic circle already. So even that's hard, right? Okay.

So I'm trying to keep those toes straight ahead. You might even feel a little bit pigeon toed. Okay. And then actually, if you could come a little bit closer to the front edge and really make an effort to rock your pelvis forward so you're not falling back into your lower back at all. And then just use your arms again just to help you feel that lift. And then just a gentle squeeze. Inhaling and exhaling, inhaling and exhaling. And as you squeeze on the magic circle, you're not just squeezing with your inner thighs, right? Do you feel that broadening across here? Pelvis? It's kind of like I had a strap behind you and I was pulling that strap around and gathering everything around into your midline and make sure as you do it, that it doesn't make you fall backwards at all.

But instead it encourages a lift right up the front of your spine. So you should feel like Taller, more upright. Very good. Okay. And we're going to keep those toes down. Excellent. So then the second part is to bring the magic circle below your knees. Make sure you're not on the joint, but you're on the flesh. Okay.

And if you can walk your feet in again, take a moment. You might have to sit a little farther forward. So the magic circle doesn't hit the edge. Okay, good. That's it. And then just feels a little different, doesn't it? Yeah, it kind of gets under you a little bit more nice and easy. Your back's not getting too tired, right? Just keep using your arms.

Keep rocking the pelvis a little bit forward. So you're on the front of your pelvic floor. That's it. You have no pressure in your lower back at all. Get Nice and smooth breath in and out. Good for you. Let's go a little more pigeon toed, especially with your left foot. That's it.

Good. Okay, so then the third one, let's see, we're going to put the magic circle between your ankle bones above them so you're not on bony bone. There you go. Now this one's the trickiest. Okay. So walk your feet in pretty close. How far can you get? And then literally roll your feet out. That's it. And so now as you squeezed the magic circle, you're actually starting with your feet. Okay? So instead of just pulling with your thighs, returning your feet to straight on is what you're doing.

So you roll out the feet, you'll allow the weight to come on to the little toe side, and then very specifically lift your arches and step right onto that big toe. You feel that it's not that easy as it now. Okay, so you go out and then you're gonna really roll through that foot. Feel the lift of the Shin right up into the knee and the knee up into the hip. Beautiful. Jia last time, just roll and press. Okay. Great. So now I'm going to take this away and shake your legs out a little.

How are you doing? Good. Good. Okay, so now take the magic circle and hold the pads in front of you. You're going to bring it close, have a little bit of bend in your elbow and lift your elbows up. And the idea here is again, we're trying to work some strength in your arm and your back and that if you think about lifting your elbows up, you can feel the muscles across the back of your arm, the back of the shoulder, a little bit in your upper back, right? Okay. And then just a gentle squeeze. It doesn't even really matter if you get a lot of movement on the magic circle, but you just want to feel the connection. Okay? So you feel strengthening across your chest, your upper back, very nice. And your arm, press down through your feet, keep reliving the lift of the pelvis, the lift of the back muscles. Good.

And then we're going to stay here. Doesn't matter if you squeeze hard. Okay? It's even holding it is, is good. Right? And then gradually start to straighten, straighten, straighten. And as you straighten your arms, you're trying to keep lifting up taller and taller because the tendency is going to be to want to fall down into your spine, right? And then bend your elbows, let them lift to find the muscles in the back of the shoulder and the upper back, and then gradually start to straighten the arms. And as you straighten your arms, you want to avoid tilting or leaning, but keep the shoulder girdle right where it is last time. Beautiful.

There you go. Gentle squeeze on the circle just to feel the connection of your hand through your arm, up through your shoulder, the support through the shoulder girdle, and then stay there and begin to lower the magic circle down and gradually raise it up. And as you raise it, you're trying to keep your arms straight and see if you can come up as high as you can come up without pulling your spine down without dropping into your lower back as beautiful who then one more time lower. Take a nice deep breath. Keep feeling your feet on the mat. Keep feeling the pelvis lifted the spine nice and long. Take a nice deep breath and just stay there. Exhale. One last inhale, lift the chest, squeeze the circle just a little.

I'm going to take that away and you can just lower your arms down. Okay. And take a rest. Excellent. Okay. You're ready for some foot corrector. Okay, so we'll just leave this here for now. Come on over to the end. Okay. So yeah, I know that, I know you don't really need to hold on for balance, but I don't want you to have to worry about your balance. Okay. And so, um, here, let me, let me check it out first. So I was get this wrong. I want you to be able to stand so that when you reach forward with your arm, I don't want it so far forward that your shoulder and your armor are in a funny cockeyed position. Okay. So we'll just set it up this way.

It's a little slippery. I'm just going to put the pad down to make sure it doesn't slide for you. So when you go to approach the foot corrector, you basically just want to step as if you had been walking in. You're taking a step and just let's make sure you set it up so your arm can be relaxed, but, but it's going to be active. Okay? So you see how that goes. There you go.

So you can take your right heel and you can see a couple of things, right? You can see the curve of the black padding and you want to aim your heel for the middle. And then you see that formidable black saddle with those big things sticking out of it. So your job is to aim your foot right to the center. Okay? And um, let's step you up on this pet too. All right? All right.

So the hand is there both for your balance but also to help you stay lifted. When you pull down on that, you can feel a little bit of activation in your side, right? So that helps you not just hang down into your hip. Okay? So place the heel right in the middle and then go ahead and let this knee bend a little and I'm going to ask you to swing your left heel to the left. Okay? And then just like everything you've done so far today, you want to have your toes soft and a balance across the ball of your foot. And then that sense of centeredness through the heel itself. So the thing is, if you're used to walking with your feet, turned out, you know, sometimes it feels a little bit more balanced than this might feel a little bit awkward because you're gonna I wanna avoid your knee rolling in, right?

But I don't want you turning your foot out so that your knee doesn't roll in. So there's two different things going on here, right? Your foot has the capacity to twist because there's so many ankles there in the foot and the so many choices, right? Cause you have so many bones in your foot and your ankle. When you bend your knee a little bit, stand back through that heel. It's a little bit of a lunch.

When you bend this knee, there's a bit of a natural rotation in that thigh bone. So it's as if you had a strap or a ribbon, you know, coming up and holding that. So the muscles that are responsible for keeping your knee from rolling in are actually up here. Okay. So let your knee bend a little bit more and you can play with the distance and the width. So if you need more, if you need your foot to be wider so you feel balanced. And actually it's interesting even with you, I'm going to set you up on a whole other pad here.

Let's see if that helps so that this hip isn't hanging. You feel that you want to really feel that when you step through this foot, your lifting your hip up into you, that looks really, really beautiful. So you're not hanging down on yourself and with your hand like that, that's kind of a good idea. Good. Actually feel like you're taking all of that up and that sends you a little bit more powerfully down into this foot, doesn't it? Yeah. Great. Okay. So now what you're gonna do is again, readjust your right heel out to the right.

I know that's different for you. Okay. And then allow for this wrapping of the musculature around from the outside of your hip around, and then just press down on the saddle as much as you can inhaling and exhaling and you can just leave your toes curl forward. So it's kind of like a little jellyfish shape where you're just pressing, it doesn't matter at all how big you do. Just getting that shape is good. And then letting the saddle come right back up under you. So right on the part of your foot that's meeting the, the mechanism of the saddle. You just let it press and up.

Yup. A couple more breaths. Inhaling and exhaling, trying to stay relaxed and soft on these toes and lifted up in that hip. Good. And when you, when you use this hand, does it help you actually pick yourself up and balance your weight across the two legs? Great. Okay. So now we're just going to take the whole foot a little farther forward. So you lift your whole leg, set your heel down first, that's it. And then really spread your toes. Begin to bend your knee and wrap.

Wrap your foot right around that, that saddle. Okay. So again, and again, it may feel odd to you if you're used to having your foot turned out, but there's this beautiful curve. It's like you have a little strap coming up from the outside of your foot and it comes up across into your big toe and then back over to the little toe. It's like a backwards seven if that does anything for Ya. Okay, so now you're just going to press down on the saddle and then let it come up again. And I can help just press and up. And honestly, it doesn't matter how big the movement is, if the spring feels heavy for you, it's just letting your foot get accustomed to that shape. Feeling the lift of the arch, the lift of your inner knee, and also the lift of your hip. Good. Okay, so now you can make a little bit of a pattern so you can go from the press.

So you go down into the jellyfish and then you reach out through your toes, you kind of snake backs, you get a nice deep flex at your ankle and then you go forward over into your jellyfish and then you come suctioning up. So it goes straight down. And then let your toes lengthen. Come right up. And now reach through those toes over. Keep your toes down now and just let the paddle lift you up.

We'll do that one more time. So you're going to press down, it's kind of jellyfish, snake, snake in the grass and then reach out snake and up. Beautiful. Okay, excellent. So now we're gonna take the ball of your foot and put it on the front. Spread the toes again. You have this visual, the curve of the gray part. And I'm going to back you up just a tad. And now think of the, the ankle, like a bridge coming down onto all your toes.

So the ankle is like a bridge onto the ball of your foot. And then your heel is going to try and pull back and down so you're not just rocking your heel up and down. That's it. You're trying to reach it back and if you need to move your foot back a little bit more, you could, you could also, um, let me take one of these. Let's put the ball your foot on. Here's the very large foot corrector and you don't have, your feet aren't that big. Okay.

Does that feel better to have like a little bit height? Yeah. Yeah. Good. Okay. And so now you can actually work the heel back. Right. Okay. So you pull it down and up and as you reach your heel back, feel almost like you're going to try and pull it in toward the ball of your foot. So it's not just an up and down of the ankle, but it's a reach and a suctioning forward. Yeah. Yup. Good. Couple more times. See if you can do it without straightening your knee. Ooh, there you go. That's really your ankle now in your hip differently, right?

Yeah. So that's really great. It's a, if your ankles are tight or unused to this, it can feel odd there. There you go. Jia. That's really, really great. And then just go ahead and take your foot off and stand on both feet and uh, see how that feels. Yeah. Uh, would you say you feel more on top of your hips? I don't want to tell you what you feel more grounded? Great. Okay. Should we do the other foot? Okay, great.

So now just move this over and you can come. Okay. So put the heel and then bend your knee. Like you're taking a step. I'm going to see if I think I should pad your other foot. The sides different, isn't it? Yeah. Okay. And, but let's see what happens if I put one of these pads under your heel. So place the heel just to like literally give you a little more height if you, or a little bit more sense that your foot is longer. Okay.

So remember as you bend your knee, there's a little bit of a natural turn of the thighbone and it lifts you up. You feel that good and then press down and then let's saddle push you up and press down and let the saddle push you up in. One of the things that we're really working with here is trying to build the arch on the outside and the inside of your foot. Most people think of the their arches, like they're in step, but really you have an arch on the outside of your foot as well. And what I'm going to ask you to consider is that you can activate that outer part of your foot and actually lift contract like you were reaching it like a hand. So you're trying to actually pick that up and bring it.

Let me have your toes for a sec for a little toe around. You see how an eye pull on your foot like that. You're in step lifts anyway. Yeah, so it's not that I'm asking you to roll in to lift the outer part of your foot, but actually to have that equal contraction in the saddle is helpful for that because you're trying to press it down evenly, both front to back, but also side to side. So let's move you forward a little bit. Bring the heel on again. Um, let's make a point now as you, as you press into the paddle, the saddle of actually trying to take that little toe side. If you do it with your hand, sometimes it helps.

Like if you actually mimic with your hand, like you're trying to actually reach, reach around. So you'd be reaching around and sucking up. You feel that? Yeah. Great. That looks better. Okay. You can rest your hand. So press couple of times and up and it's good having that pat under there, isn't it? Yeah. So let's do jellyfish snake. So you're going to press down, let the knee band try to keep the band as you pull the toes back. It's not that bad to straighten your knee, it's just that you're diminishing the ankle work because then it turns into knee bending and straightening instead of just foot and ankle work. So you're going to go down for the jellyfish, reached through the toes for the snake.

Maybe even think of starting with the little toe it doesn't want to, and then reach it out again. Snake. Like, this one's tricky, right? Your heel really wants to swing in. So that tells us that he could use a little bit more strength in the hip. And we'll get that later. One more time. Jellyfish snake, good little toe, little toe.

Reach it around. Snake and jellyfish. All right. And now go ahead and pick your foot up. Put the ball of your foot here. There we go. I don't want to hurt your toe there. So the little towel on many of us gets caught underneath the foot.

You know, and for you, it's probably years of sticking your feet in dance shoes, but it's time for that little toe to come out. There you go. And you can see it's not just rolling out. It's literally activating that outer part of your foot, right and standing. And you do that. The instep lifts. Can you feel that difference? Great. Alright, so then reaching the heel back and down. Okay. And feeling how as you pull down through that saddle, there's a contraction from the heel to the ball of the foot and you're strengthening your arch and that way, that's it.

So you're lifting and reaching the heel back and over, but also almost pulling the saddle towards the ball of your foot a couple more times. Yup. [inaudible] he told us. And then you can finish and stand on your foot. See how you feel. Good. Okay, great. So now we'll move over to the end of the Cadillac and I'm going to grab, can you grab the toe corrector? Alright. So do you want to put it on or me? Put it back on your big toes. So you know how I was talking about strengthening the, the outer hips.

If you heel toe out a couple of times, you feel how you naturally feel the muscles on the outside of your hips because you're, you're pulling out on that. Okay. Um, that's a good height I think. So you're holding onto that kind of for balance, but also to help you pull back if you need to just a tad. Okay. Cause I'm gonna ask you to rise straight up and down onto the balls of your feet and down. And what we're making sure of is that you don't push into your quads to rise up. So you can just do that poorly for a second. Yep. So that you would have to kind of shift and press. Instead, you want to feel that you're activating from the outer ankle all the way up through your outer knee and it adds the action of pressing your leg out to feel that. And then as you lower down, reach your heels back just like you were doing when you were on the foot corrector. Exactly. So on the way up, it's that part more where you stepping on to the ball of your foot.

And then on the way down, think of reaching your heels. Be careful that you're not pressing into the ligaments in the back of your knee at all, but you feel this suction right up through the arch. And then reach the heels back and feels good. Right? You can fill those outer hip muscles. Okay, so now we're going to take it into a little bit of a pattern. Okay? So rise up and then bend your knees a little and pull your hips back so you're sitting on a little stool.

You feel these muscles holding you up and now when you press your heels down, reach for the ground and then straighten by lifting your hips. Try not to press into the front of your knees. Go up again. Inhale, pull back hips as you bend the knees, stay lifted here like there's a little chair there. And reach your heels back and down to the ground without straightening your knees. Yet there it is. And then to rise up. Really push the heel into the yes. There you go. Gr. He filled the difference. You're not just pushing into your knees. One more time. This direction.

Breathe in. Rise up. You can. Yeah, you want to swing that heel in, don't you? That's where my foot was in the way. And then let's take a nice deep breath into the ribs. Lower the heels and straighten up. And now reverse it. Sit right back and down. Pull your hips back like somebody us offered you a chair.

Roll up onto the balls of your feet as you press through the ball, the foot. Use your arms to help you feel nice and long, longer, longer, longer, longer, longer, longer, longer. And now reach your heels back nice and soft two more times. Breathe in as you bend. Roll up onto the balls of your feet. Good. Use your arms as much as you need to to keep your back up.

And then reach the heels back. Pull the hips back last time bend, soften the hip. There it is. You feel the difference. So you really get that. Reach into the back of the hip, the roll through the foot. Try not to push into the quads. Use your arms to help you lift.

And now pull your heels back and back and back. Okay, very nice restaurants for just a second and we'll go ahead and get rid of that toe corrector. Okay, so now we're going to do a little standing, more standing pattern. Okay, so come in a little bit closer so that your elbows are just relaxing down. This is a good height, basically forehead height. Okay. Now you can be more normal. I'm hip with the part. Okay. So keeping the elbows relaxed and forward. Just lean back until your elbows straighten.

So essentially you're doing like a standing pushup, right? You feel that? Okay? So you feel the way equal on the ball of your foot and your heel begin to curl into yourself. So look down and curl and try not to push into your back, but find the front. As soon as the head goes down, it sets up a a pulley system into the front of your body, the flexors of your spine. You feel that tug down here at your pubic bone. So keeping that tone in that tug, reach your hips back like you did a minute ago. Hat's it.

Keeping the weight on the ball, the flip the same. And now curl the tail through. Use the curling of the tail through to right yourself, and then bend your elbows. Beautiful. So keeping the weight on the ball, the foot in the heel, the same lean back until your arms are straight. And this is beautiful. You're not pushing into your back at all. And now let your head come forward.

Feel that police system tagging, tagging, tagging, tagging, tagging. So you make that chain all the way down. Now with the tone in the front here, you can reach your hips back and get the length up, the hamstrings, right? Get the release in your hip without dumping into your low back. That's good. Make sure you keep the weight on the ball, the foot the same. And now curl the tail through and follow that pattern all the way up to there.

Beautiful one. Do it one more time. Okay, so inhale till the arms are straight. Keeping the chest high. That gives you plenty of room. Do you feel it so that when you curl and you have room to curl so you're not dumping down on your back, you're coiling into yourself. You fill that and now with that tone, whoops, it's in the hips, not the back. Lift the back of the hip. That's it. Let the hamstrings length to take you back.

Make sure the knees are soft and you're standing firmly on the ball of your foot. And now curl the tail through and follow that up and bend the elbows. Beautiful part to start. Rise. Rise up onto the balls of your feet. Okay, so this one doesn't have as much crowd graphy. You're going to imagine that there's a pulley coming from the ceiling and from the well over here somewhere and it's attached to a sling that's wrapped around your shoulder girdle wrapped around your back. So I can show that with my arm.

So now you're up on the balls of your feet and you're going to feel that there's something here resisting you. So as you lean back till your arms are straight, you feel my hand and you push into my hand, but my hand is pushing into you at the same time and because it's attached, right? And then allow yourself to arc any amount up over that and then feel this string coming from your sternum, pulling you back forward and then lower your heels down again. Rise straight up. Go back until the elbows are straight ish. Being careful not to around the shoulders, which you don't do.

You feel my arm here, put a little weight on me and lift off of me. That's it. Now let the string pull your sternum forward. Look forward and come down. Let's do one more where you don't even take your head back. Okay. Just rise straight up.

You've got this sling there. That's good. You feel me? Yeah. And now don't even start by with your head. Just try and lean back over my arm there. That's beautiful. And then feel this string pulling you forward and lower down.

Okay, nicely done. So we'll do one more thing here. Okay. It's a primarily a calf stretch, so you can see where the, the structure of the Cadillac is. You're going to take your right foot and bring it to the metal and then walk your back back. You can use the floorboards actually here to make sure that your left heel in this instance is really parallel. And again, that may feel odd to you if you're used to turning out. So we're gonna use a couple of the same things we've been doing already.

Bend your knee, make sure that your knee tracks directly over the center of your foot. Is that a calf stretch for you? Okay, that's really, really good. So that's the idea is that you try to maintain this very parallel back foot and really, really reach. So your calf is trying to Elongate itself down into your heel, okay? And then you have enough of a lunge in the front to open up the back hip. Okay? So just hang out for a second and allow your calf to release.

This is here again, because you don't want it to have to be a balance issue. If you're not used to standing with your legs parallel to one another, it could feel a little awkward. Okay, so now we're gonna move on and to straighten this front leg, I'm going to ask you not to do it by pulling your knee back, but use your arms as much as you need to to keep your torso lifted and try and lift up out of this back hip and in. And in the process of doing so, pulling your hips up and back, your knee will straighten. So now I'm wondering if not only you feel your calf stretching, but a nice stretch through the quad in the front of the hip. Yeah. And then what would it be like if you lightened the load on your hands a little bit? It's funny, right? I mean it's a little bit of a, it's a little bit of an odd balance for you, for most of us until you get used to it.

But it's a really great way to organize your legs into your pelvis and not always rely on standing with your feet turned out in it. And it also shows up how tight our calves can get. Okay, good. Let's do the other side. So bring your left foot essentially to the middle and then take your right leg back. If you had a, like if you were thinking about something about the width of a Yoga Mat, so your front foot would be in the middle of the Mat, right? And your back leg, you could line your heel up with essentially what the outside of the Yoga Mat would be. And then you're sitting in that hip again.

Do you remember from foot corrector? Okay, so you have to really, ah, shift into this front knee more. There you go. This is a little overkill there. And if you could again, think about a strap. Like what if I was a strap here, right? And I'm pulling back on you, but you could press on me a little bit. Feel how that helps square off your pelvis. Good, good, good. Calf stretch. Okay. And now to straighten the front leg, you're not going to do it by pulling back in the knee, but you're going to do it by continuing to try and lift up out of your hips.

There you go. And so you get a good quad and hip flexor stretches well and you feel the connection into your policy can use your arms a little bit more to give you more room in your torso to the hips, into the pelvis, the pelvis into the spine. That's it. Really. Pull this one up. That's great. Good Stretch, Huh? Okay. Do you want to try taking your hands off? Ooh, try to stay on both legs. That's it. Even just like a little bit of a lightening of the weight on your hands.

It shows you how you have to pull yourself together. Right. Okay. And just relax. That's great. You've been standing for a long time, so maybe we'll do a little bit of seated work. Okay. Well, we'll go grab the ball. Okay, great.


1 person likes this.
Super mindful and helpful. Thank you!
very interest, but where is possible to buy the foot and toe correction? Thanks
1 person likes this.
Maria ~ Here is a link to some of the props for feet at Balanced Body. I hope this helps!
Thank you Gia
Amy S
I enjoyed the material presented and your cueing. I have a question about intent of where the Center of Mass should be when Gia is performing the relevees and plies at the end of the Cadillac while wearing the toe corrector - do you want her to be able to let go of the Cadillac ( at the end of the exercise) when she’s on relevee, with straight leg and be on balance?
Thank you, Debora.
Debora Kolwey
Thanks for your question and interest. Remember Gia is standing in for my client who is 85 and quite bent forward in her gait and even in standing tends toward pressing forward into the front of her hips and standing back on her heels. She also has a lot of inner ear issues; balance is shaky. So, for Helene, I use the toe corrector to give her the support to stand with her feet straight ahead and a bit wider than hip width not only for stability but to activate her glut medius and other hip muscles, (not flexors). She holds on, obviously so balance itself is taken out of the equation, but to encourage her to stand more surely on the back line of her legs and hips. The intention in this case is not to be able to let go. I wrote more but it was too long! Let me know what you think
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For the toe corrector exercises, do you make any adjustments for clients who have extreme bunions? I’m wondering if the natural focus on how the toe corrector is pulling on the bunions makes it more difficult to attain your goals.
Debora Kolwey
I have not found that. I do, however, have a toe corrector that is quite light. There is the black one that can put a strong pull on the tendon but they make a red one that is lighter and that's the one I use with Helene. You can adjust where you place it; more distal or more proximal. We do all kinds of work, both manual and active for the feet and the ankles, as well as hips, (to improve alignment and the forces, load, going through) and the coordination of all of this is important, as they all impact each others' function.
Lovely to watch thinking of your 85 year old client. Really liked the detail and precision. I’m going to watch again and do the class myself. Thank you.
Hi Debora, I love tutorials like this and you do them especially well. I tried the functional footprints for the standing exercise with toecorrector - to really find the alignement and found that helpful. Maybe you could sometimes add your thoughts - why you aim for something. It is such a particular work and I do not always get your idea behind it. But I will watch again and maybe pick it up in the second run. thank you!

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