I regularly do a YouTube video workout called “Foundation Training Original 12 minutes w Dr Eric Goodman” started about a year ago this month, and now for more than half that duration have also done another one, “6pack abs in 4mins: Foundation Training 8 Point Plank Challenge” (I won’t link these here again, since I have in other threads, but search with the exact titles I gave, and YouTube will find these easily.)
I have for a long time extended the Original 12mins to about 16-19 minutes every time. I do more reps of basically all the moves because I’ve already seen how these help me, and I want the maximum benefit. Dr. Goodman moves a bit faster than I like, and I tend to push for 15 reps of everything instead of 10. I move a little slower to maximize the stretch, so I keep my wireless trackball mouse in one hand, enabling me with a simple click to keep pausing/restarting the YouTube vid to allow me time for the reps. I should have it memorized by now and not need the video at all, but I like hearing the good cues about form that he gives throughout, so I still play it every time.
In any case, having done the first video for one year as of about mid-August coming up, and experienced the ups and downs of how consistently I do it, I can easily say it is an absolute MUST DO workout for me. When I’ve missed for any stretch of time more than 3 or 4 days, I’m absolutely going to pay for it with recurring low back pain, and getting back on the workout improves and corrects that without fail… ALWAYS. I don’t want to imagine stopping this particular workout EVER, and I’m still trying to make it a daily thing but haven’t succeeded yet.
A VERY UNEXPECTED change I have found is that it also improves a completely surprising to me issue that I’ve had for years, arthritis in my metatarsals! (Didn’t even know it was arthritis at the time, but eventually connected it when I had it diagnosed in my hands and realized it was the same thing going on.)
For years, I suffered with cramping, SEVERE pain in the balls of my feet that generally occurred late in LONG rides. So generally not until I was past 50 or 60 miles, 3 hours or more, and often not even till about 75-80 miles.
But when it hit, it was absolute MURDER. I kept doing long rides, suffering through it, flexing my toes, unclipping and reclipping into pedals, shaking the foot, sometime SLAMMING the foot into the pedal, trying anything to just refocus or change the pain. Sometimes making it worse, sometimes getting temporary relief. Sometimes literally crying as I rode through the pain.
Never really knew what it was or why it happened. I did know that my shoe insoles showed a very clear and definite deeper depression area under my middle metatarsal head, but I didn’t know what to do about it. I tried metatarsal pads but got no relief at all.
It was so bad that I would often wake up with throbbing pain that forced me IMMEDIATELY out of bed to massage that foot by rolling a tennis ball underneath my flexing toes until it subsided again. That used to be an almost every night ordeal.
I FINALLY was talking to a friend, a retired internal meds doc, who was a VERY accomplished cyclist in his younger years, and the subject came up. He immediately knew what it was and what to do with the metatarsal pads that I never understood, and most pads sold do not explain well how to use them. (In fact many mislead you in that regard.)
The logical thought with these pads is to place them UNDER the forefoot area where the pain is, hoping that cushioning the area will make it better.
It DOES NOT. (At least for me, and my issue, which I recognize now is inflammation/arthritis, which gives me a very swollen metatarsal head.)
Doc Crandall told me that the problem is that the metatarsal BONES NEED BETTER SUPPORT from the shoe and they aren’t getting it. So he always used moleskin tape and built up the insole of the shoe with layer on layer to build a support pad area BEHIND THE METATARSAL HEADS, NOT UNDER THEM! This supports the length of the BONES better, and takes pressure OFF THE HEADS, which are what hurts.
So I took my same silicone pads again, and this time, attached them further back, probably close to an inch back on the insole, so they would hopefully stay in place better (which they have, but some insoles have smoother surface to attach to, and some are terribly hard to stick anything to, so I keep any insoles that are well made and “stuck to” easily and I reuse them again and again in other shoes! My old Shimano M161, M162, and M163 MTB shoes, long ago discontinued, had FABULOUS insoles, and I move them to new shoes every time!)
In any case, this change brought me IMMEDIATE RELIEF from what had been a problem for years, one that in fact, I wondered might be what stopped me from riding someday. It WAS that BAD.
Fast forward maybe 4 years from then, the problem is now very manageable, the metatarsal heads are still overly large, but wearing these pads correctly in ALL my shoes has reduced the problem to a rarely painful issue, and when it does hurt, I can deal with it, and it basically NEVER wakes me up anymore.
Back to the Foundation Training Original 12mins w Dr Eric Goodman workout. From the very first time I tried it, my left foot just COULD NOT HANDLE pressing up and down onto my toes during the exercise that has you in right leg forward, left leg back position and with arms raised above your head, bending to the right to open up the left side and stretch out your hip flexors.
The up and down from your toes, pressing up hard, then back down to your heels, was unbearable for my left foot. The right foot tolerated it okay but the metatarsal heads on the left foot screamed out from that pressure. At first, I just gave up and stretched without going up onto my toes, got what I could from it.
But at some point, I tried again and forced myself to do it right as best I could.
Guess what? Now, I can do the whole thing without pain, and my feet are feeling better overall. They just feel stronger, more flexible, they feel GOOD!
I still had some metatarsal pain for a little while on a recent 100 mile ride. I’m still 65 and fight arthritis. But WOW, I never expected that benefit from a workout that doesn’t seem to be aiming at that particular issue.
BUT IT WORKS FOR ME!!
If any of you suffer from this pain, maybe these 2 things can help you too.