by Heather Burgoyne, Owner, Soar Pilates
Footwork is an exercise taught to the most novice to advanced student. I would consider it the foundation of the Pilates practice, which makes sense considering your feet are the foundation of your body.
Your foot has 29 muscles (combined foot/ankle and intrinsic), thousands of nerve endings and multiple pressure points. Your feet are a grounding point for energy to not only stabilize but to stimulate and arouse the body.
The footwork exercises, however, not only strengthen the feet, but the entire lower half of your body.
When was the last time you thought about working out your ankles? They’re not only taking the impact of your body weight but gravity too. That is a lot of pressure to carry around on a daily basis.
Having a strong ankle will help protect you from any unstable surfaces and allow your body to react quickly. Let’s be honest, no one likes a twisted ankle!
Moving up the chain, you have your calves, the vastus around the knees (hello stair climbers or better yet just think about sitting down and standing back up again), the quadriceps, hamstrings, inner and outer thighs, glutes as well as internal and external rotators.
You’ll develop the support for neutral spine and understand the importance of lumbopelvic stability.
Footwork will support correct hip, leg and ankle alignment, as well as increase circulation throughout your body. It is hands down one of the best exercises you can do for yourself.