Today’s guest is Dr. Emily Splichal, Podiatrist and human movement specialist. When it comes to sprinting fast, and jumping high, the feet are a critical link. We’ve heard it often on this podcast, sprint coaches referencing the feet as a key component of fast athletes. To that end, I’m delighted to have Dr. Emily on the podcast today.
Dr. Emily is a true expert on the performance driven foot. Along with being a doctor of Podiatric medicine, she is the Founder of the Evidence Based Fitness Academy, is the creator of multiple barefoot training courses and inventor of Naboso Barefoot Technology. She has over 16 years in the fitness industry and has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot to core integration and training from the ground up. Dr. Emily is actively involved in barefoot training research and barefoot education as it relates to athletic performance, injury prevention and movement longevity. She also serves as a consultant for many prominent fitness and training organizations.
For today’s episode, we’ll be discussing the feet on many levels in regards to their impact on performance, as well as how we coach and cue the feet in training and lifting movements. We’ll also go into the critical muscles that support the arch and stiffness of the foot, and how to optimally train them. This is a really in depth episode, and one I learned a lot putting together.
Today’s episode is brought to you by SimpliFaster, supplier of high-end athletic development tools, such as the Freelap timing system, kBox, Sprint 1080, and more.
- Emily’s background as an athlete and her transition into fitness and movement
- Aspects of the feet that lead to fast running and sprinting
- Troubleshooting the rear-foot loading phase of running and sprinting
- The barometer of supinated feet to pronated feet and associated issues
- Toe gripping and “overgripping”
- Connection of the foot to the core in movement
- Cueing squatting and lifting movements in context of foot action
- Concepts of the big toe
- Emily’s favorite strength drill for the feet
“The rate that you can create stiffness in the foot leads to a shorter contact time, which means you get off the ground faster and that’s how you’re fast… that can be built into certain foot types that are able to lock or re-supinate faster. That would be a more inverted foot, technically it would be a more rigid foot”
“The foot type that feeds speed would be a more supinated foot”
“Regardless of how your foot is striking the ground, whether you are walking, you are a heel-striker, mid-foot striker, or a sprinter, you are always in an inverted rear foot position”
“You have to make sure that there sufficient rearfoot inversion, that is the part of the foot that makes sure it is rigid enough for pushoff”
“The shortest window for inversion-eversion-inversion is during sprinting, and that’s why they are able to get off the ground so quick”
“Our power is in rotations and spirals, the more that you can harness rotational power through your feet, the faster you will be”
“Regardless of foot type, you have to make sure that the foot is talking to the core fast enough”
“The posterior tibialis is the most powerful locking muscle of the foot”
“The up phase of the squat is where you really need the key digit (toe) contact, or the foot engagement”
“When they jump, I want them to follow through and push all the way through the digits. I want every last centimeter of the digits to touch the ground when they push off from that jump or that sprint”
“That follow through should be off of the big toe”
“Your ability to do an optimal push-off and have that high-gear position is linked to that posterior tibialis”
About Dr. Emily Splichal
Dr. Emily Splichal, Podiatrist and Human Movement Specialist, is the Founder of the Evidence Based Fitness Academy, Creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist®, BarefootRx® and BARE® Workout Certifications and Inventor of Naboso Barefoot Technology. With over 16 years in the fitness industry, Dr. Splichal has dedicated her medical career towards studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot to core integration and from the ground up training.
Dr. Splichal actively sees patients out of her office in Manhattan, NY with a specialty in sports medicine, functional medicine and regenerative medicine (dremilysplichal.com). Dr. Splichal takes great pride in approaching all patients through a functional approach with the integration of systemic function, diet, vitamin supplementation and corrective exercise.
Dr. Splichal is actively involved in barefoot training research and barefoot education as it relates to athletic performance, injury prevention and movement longevity. Dr. Splichal has presented her research and barefoot education both nationally and internationally, with her Barefoot Training Specialist® Program in over 35 countries worldwide and translated into 12 languages.
Due to her unique background Dr. Splichal is able to serve as a consultant and expert for some of the top fitness, footwear and orthotic companies including Aetrex Worldwide, Bunion Bootie, Crunch Fitness, Lissom Footwear, NIKE Innovations, PowerPlate USA, RAD Roller and Trigger Point Performance Therapy.
Degrees/Certifications: Doctor of Podiatric Medicine (DPM), Master’s Human Movement (MS), NASM-CES, NASM-PES, NSCA-CPT