So…maybe you’re rooting for yourself to get that next big squat or deadlift – BUT are you literally rooting yourself? All dad jokes aside, rooting the foot is a critical component to setting ourselves up for success in the gym.
Websters defines rooting as “to establish deeply and firmly”
Our feet are the only body part physically in contact with the floor, and thus the only contact point we have to use in order transfer force from our musculature through to the ground. We need to establish our foot placement firmly in order to lift, so we root our foot to the ground!
In the theory of dynamic neuromuscular stabilization, the body only functions optimally when placed in positions where we are fully aligned and stable. Proper alignment permits our neuromuscular systems to stabilize the whole system which in turn allows us to produce more force and more coordinated movement. If our base isn’t in a good position, the stability of our whole system is compromised which means we lose more squats to falling forwards, more deadlifts to falling back, and our lunges and swings are harder to control.
By placing our feet in a stable and rooted position we help generate stability from the ground up. From this rooted position we are better able to maintain pelvic and spinal stability, proper breathing, and proper bracing – thus we are better able to produce force in training or sport.
Check out the video below for a rundown on how to execute this essential skill: