Today’s guest is Chong Xie, founder of “Secret of Athleticism” and founder of the Hyperarch Fascia Training System. Secret of Athleticism is a website and discussion group founded to understand more about the foot, and its relationship to athletic power, as well as best training practices. Chong has a computer science degree and has been working as a technical analyst in the software industry for the last 10 years. His interest in the foot was piqued by seeing the large discrepancy in athletic performance, and Chong has spent many years on a quest to unlock the “secret” of athletic performance that is hiding beneath our shoes. His work is endorsed by great athletes such as Kadour Ziani and Marques Goodwin.
As I’ve found in the last few months, what Chong Xie is doing might be the next big thing in sports performance training., but it’s funny, since it’s something all amazing athletes do naturally and without thinking about it.
That “thing” is the action and morphing of the foot over time, to maximize ground contact stiffness, fascial tensioning, and upstream muscle activation. Many strength coaches don’t get farther than “your ankles are immobile in your squat, so let’s do some banded distraction work”, let alone looking at foot instrinsics. This is a shame, because even low level foot training, such as big toe crunches, have been shown to significantly improve jump height! How much more can we do with knowledge of a full, integral model?
To this end, Chong Xie, even though he is not a full-time sport coach, is one of the most intriguing guests I’ve had on the podcast. Not only because he has poured in tons of research and case study in training on the foot, but also because he comes from a non-biased background, of which his is martial arts. Everything modern strength and performance coaches are taught is generally above the ankle, so the foot doesn’t fit into our holistic athletic assessments and training processes.
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.
- Chong’s background and interest in training the foot
- Common features of an athletic foot for sprinting and jumping, and general explosive athletic feats
- Weightlifting and relationships with the feet
- Fascia vs. muscle driven athletes, and times to warm up for maximal performance
- Biomechanics behind the “hyperarch hop” exercise
- Why some elite basketball players, such as Michael Jordan, let their knees come together while shooting, and the relationship to glute activation
“You have to look at the body holistically, instead of in segmented parts”
“Elite athletes have callouses on top of their toes, and a prominence of the anterior tibalis tendon”
“The toes of elite athletes are like claws, very stiff”
“Is the foot linked through the fascia to the glutes… and if so, that’s a good foot!”
“Sprinting you are just going one direction as fast as you can, so sometimes you don’t see those callouses on top of the toes”
“Short term wise, weights will increase your vertical, but will it be effortless (like natural movement), no”
“For elite athletes, the fascial system takes time to warm up”
“There is a big difference between athletes where the power is coming from the fascia vs. an athlete where the power is coming from the muscle”
“If you pick a regular person when they are asked to squat, even though form is perfect on the outside, there is zero (EMG) reading in their glutes. Versus someone training in NFL, ask him to squat, you see quads, you see glutes, you see hamstring.”
“How the foot morphs over time effects the fascia, it effects the glute dominance”
“When we squat, there is no heels, the heels play a minimal role in performance”
“Elite athletes are made naturally from the difference in tension in the foot”
“The reason we have ankle sprains is a lack of tension over time in the foot”
“Once the fascia is activated, it produces a lot of tension. It pulls all your body parts internally in an optimal position.”
“People who are not glute dominant, when their knees come together in shooting, this is injurious”
Lebron James foot
Lebron’s foot looks nasty, but it allows for the way he runs and jumps
Elite athlete foot/claw
Video with zoom in on Russell Westbrook’s feet
About Chong Xie
Chong Xie is the author of “Secret of Athleticism”, inventor of the Hyperarch Fascia Training System and founder of the page “secret-of-athleticism.com” a website and discussion group founded to understand more about the foot, and its relationship to athleticism, as well as best training practices. Chong has a computer science degree and has been working as a technical analyst in the software industry for the last 10 years. His interest in the foot was piqued by seeing the large discrepancy in athletic performance, and Chong has spent many years on a quest to unlock the “secret” of athletic performance that is hiding beneath our shoes.