The “short-foot” concept was introduced into rehabilitation and training by Professor Janda many years ago. The short foot can simply be described as a slight contraction of the intrinsic muscles of the foot thereby making the foot stronger and providing a better support.
For the very same reasons it is important to provide a strong supporting hand in all exercises using the hand as support. Faulty loading of the hand will not only result in excessive loading of the wrist but will also severely affect the stabilization of the scapula.
A very common fault is to load the hand and wrist excessively on the fibular (lateral) aspect of the hand,
another common fault is to let the hand collapse and flatten when used as a support .
A strong supporting hand is created by a minor contraction of the small muscles of the hand creating a slight arch of the hand. This is created by a small approximation of the metacarpals and can be described as having a space for a little flat ball inside the palm when supporting.
The loading should be the same on the thumb side as on the lateral aspect of the hand. Test the support by having someone gently trying to lift the fingers to evaluate the pressure on to each digit.
Another good cue for hand support is to hold the hand as if to push off “jumping” with the hand.
Experience the effect of a proper hand support with this sequence of corrections:
- Stand on all fours with the hands straight under the shoulders
- Initially experience the faulty support by excessively loading the outer aspect of the hand. Performing this step allows us to better feel right from wrong.
Start the correction process by slightly bending the elbows and by externally rotating the arm, just a few degrees, at the shoulder joint.
Next move the support medially in the hand so that there is equal pressure all along the hand. A good cue is to have someone put their finger at the medial aspect of the hand and gently push against it.
- Once the support is evenly distributed over the hand, gently contract the small hand muscles to “shorten” the hand and create a small arch through the middle of the palm.
- By improving the support function of the hand you should feel how the muscles around the shoulder-blades tighten and move the scapulae into stronger support positions.