I came up with the term “Feel your heels to not feel your knees” several years ago, and the meaning is simple: if, when working out, you sit back on and focus on driving through your heels, then later in the day or days thereafter, you won’t have tenderness in your knees. The physiology behind the statement explains that to minimize any anterior/posterior translation (sliding and gliding) of the femur over the tibia helps reduce strain and eventual flare up in the patellar tendon. This also takes away improper striking of the two bones which would lead to cartilage tearing.
But enough of that technical mumbo jumbo! Just sit back in your heels and all is well.
The further I thought about it, I noticed this premise translated to our everyday lives as well, including on the worksite. If I am sitting at a desk all day, finding my heels when I stand up allows me to open my hips completely, reducing the tension in the hip flexor muscles that have become tightened over time.
If I stand at work, shifting weight back into my heels reduces lower back pain as the shoulders tend to slump forward.
And if I am walking around throughout the day, focusing on my heels before I set off will help to upright my posture, thereby opposing the forward lean my heavy shoulders tend to create.
There’s so much to learn from this simple ancient Chinese secret, yet is so hard to remember to put into practice. But it doesn’t have to be. Work with me to learn all the feels, tricks and trades of how to incorporate this into your daily lifestyle activities.