Although toes usually forgotten about and we don't wan't to look at them much, they actually play a huge role with our balance! True story.
Our toes keep us stable and help us to balance, especially the big toe. Those without a big toe (in cases of trauma and amputation) have very poor balance. Similarly, those with a very stiff big toe joint that doesn't flex much are at a high risk of falls.When our big toe is working as it should it adds a HUGE amount of stability and mobility to our lifting.
Big toe touching ground = better balance = arch activation - BAM!
Let me explain.
Please don't let us see your big toe flapping in the wind during squats and deads. The big toe MUST be contacting the ground at all times.
Big toe test!
1. Squat whilst looking into the mirror
2. Look at the big toe - does it lift or does it stay plugged into the ground
3. If it lifts, try plugging the big toe into the ground
4. HELLO stability!
A stiff big toe puts more pressure on the plantar fascia and other arch muscles. So... if we can get more movement through our big toe it means we can get better RANGE - this means more squat depth! YAHOO!
More mobile big toes =
1. Perform the squat test
2. Keep big toe PLUGGED into the ground with lifting
3. We can improve big toe function to get more stability with lifting and more depth with your squat!