Sunday Newsletter: 2024.02.04

sunday newsletters Feb 04, 2024
Online Pilates newsletter

Part of being a teacher at Pilates in Common is asking our students questions about the nuances we observe in their bodies.

A few weeks ago, Keegan watched a student flex and extend her ankle and noticed a discrepancy between how the right ankle was mobilizing compared to the left. This sparked a conversation that went something like this:


Keegan: “Can you feel the difference in how your two ankles are moving?”

Student: “Yes. But, I notice it more in my hips than in the ankle itself.”


Curious and knowing that the hip and the foot have a clear, yet “it’s complicated” relationship, Keegan kept the conversation going:


Keegan: “Have you ever hurt your right foot at any point in your life? Ever broken a toe?”

Stunned Student: “I never thought to mention it because it seemed like not a big deal at the time, but yes. A couple years ago, I stubbed my big toe into some turf and I actually thought I broke it, but then it felt fine, so I never did anything about it. But every once in a while, it bugs me.


What sets a great Pilates session apart from a good one is precisely this type of dialogue. Equipped with this new information, Keegan noticed her student's right big-toe joint had less range of motion (ROM) compared to the left. Consequently, when attempting to extend her ankle, the student couldn't apply the same downward pressure into her right toe joint which caused her hip to compensate. Because you need to put pressure on the ball of the foot (i.e., bend your toe joints) to extend the ankle (i.e., lift your heel) the lack of ROM in her big-toe joint meant her hip joint had to flex to avoid the pressure.

The real kicker of this story? The student was experiencing pain in her right hip.

You might chalk it up to coincidence (or even witchcraft) if you prefer, but we're confident that by the end of February, you'll be persuaded that foot health is tantamount to hip health, which in turn is crucial for spine health, and so it ascends. Why? Because February marks our first Thematic Exploration month, where we begin our exploration at the base of the kinetic chain—the very part that connects you to the earth: THE FEET.



Monday, February 5th @ 12pm with Nicole:
The big toe joint connects the inner thighs to the core. The pink toe joint connects the leg to the lateral hip. But how? One word, fascia. Join me for a small props class to see how our feet directly turn on muscles up the kinetic chain. Props: either a silicone wrist band or two thick hair ties or two broccoli rubber bands and a hand towel.



Let’s start with the nitty gritty nerdy stuff – the anatomy of the foot.

Consider this post an appetizer for next week, where we share more actionable info. Just click the pic to learn more!