Foot ‘core’ muscles are a thing
Do you know that your foot ‘core’ muscles are a thing? Looking at your foot right now, how many muscles do you think are there in your foot?
Fun fact, there are actually 29 muscles in the human foot. These muscles are subdivided into extrinsic (superficial) and intrinsic (deeper) muscles.
These intrinsic, or deeper muscles will be what we refer to as the foot ‘core’ muscles. We will cover in later sections as to why this is the case.
The extrinsic muscles are those that arise from the leg and are mainly responsible for actions such as turning our foot outwards, turning our foot inwards, pushing off our toes and striking our heel during walking or running.
On the other hand, the intrinsic muscles are located within the foot. They are responsible for the fine motor actions of the foot, such as movement of the individual digits.
The intrinsic foot muscles are further divided into those situated on the top of the foot, and those in the sole of the foot. There are only 2 intrinsic muscles located in the top of the foot, whereas there are 10 intrinsic muscles in the sole of the foot.
In this blog, we will be considering the intrinsic or foot ‘core’ muscles’ role and function.
Function of the intrinsic foot muscles
Intrinsic foot muscles (top)
- The muscles situated on the top of the foot are mainly responsible for assisting with extension of the toes.
Intrinsic foot muscles (sole)
- The muscles situated in the sole of the foot play a key role in supporting the arch, providing flexibility, stability and shock absorption to the foot.
- Together with the plantar fascia, they facilitate propulsive forces at push- off. This is achieved via the foot providing rigidity and an efficient lever at push-off.
- This is liken to the analogy of our core muscles in our torso, which provide tremendous amounts of stability to our spine especially during high impact- based movements and heavy lifting.