Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists, Aches and Pains, Injuries, etc...
User avatar
Erik Zurcher
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 17042
Joined: Thu Oct 06, 2005 8:38 pm
Location: The Hague, Netherlands

Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Erik Zurcher » Tue Nov 05, 2013 9:59 pm

I have seen guitarists with their footstool reversed, heel higher than toes. Tonight I tried it myself: what a wonderful sensation! It seems that I feel more relaxed, and experience less tension. Why haven't I tried this before?

What is your experience? Discussion please!
Reedition Domingo Esteso by Conde Hermanos 2004; Kenny Hill, model Barcelona 2001
"While you try to master classical guitar, prepare for a slave's life: the guitar will forever be your master and you its slave".

User avatar
Steve Kutzer
Posts: 1441
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Steve Kutzer » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:16 pm

Interesting - like the old "earth shoes".

I generally play with a dynarette, but will give the reverse footstool a shot tonight.
See my technology (and guitar!) site CIO Dojo

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11284
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by lagartija » Tue Nov 05, 2013 10:53 pm

Hmmm.... interesting! I'll give it a try tonight.
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

User avatar
Allister Slingenberg
Posts: 190
Joined: Wed Aug 22, 2012 8:14 am

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Allister Slingenberg » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:29 am

Have been doing that too, but I end up alternating and re-reversing it after a while!
I liked the opera very much. Everything but the music.
-Benjamin Britten-

User avatar
George Crocket
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10110
Joined: Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:48 pm
Location: Scotland

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by George Crocket » Wed Nov 06, 2013 8:59 am

Allister Slingenberg wrote:Have been doing that too, but I end up alternating and re-reversing it after a while!

I tried that too before moving to the dynarette. There was just too much back discomfort using the footstool in either orientation. Now I have both feet on the ground and both free to move a little whenever I wish.
George
2010 Stephen Eden spruce/cocobolo classical guitar
2012 Stephen Eden cedar/IRW classical guitar

EricKatz
Posts: 404
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 8:49 am

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by EricKatz » Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:31 am

Hello Erik,

I am also a reversed footstool player. I read about it almost a year ago, I tried it and it really helped me! The pain or stiffness in my lower back disappeared from that very moment.
The explanation is simple. The non-reversed footstool stretches your calf muscles, they again pull at your hamstrings and this effects your lower back muscles.
Of course this is not a general advice. If you don't experience any problems by now, just keep doing what you do. On the other hand, if you experience some problems, why don't you just give it a try!
I am not a physiologist, but as a former long distance runner I experienced more than once how local problems in your body can be solved by changes at another location in your body. A simple pad of 1mm high under the sole of my friend's right shoe, solved serious back problems (even walking was painfull).

User avatar
oski79
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 10210
Joined: Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:12 pm
Location: Sebastopol, California

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by oski79 » Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:03 am

I started doing this a few years ago and stuck with it, though I do use a Tenuto some of the time. As noted, it relaxes the left calf noticeably, and as far as I'm concerned, the less tension anywhere, the better.
“People may say I can’t sing, but no one can ever say I didn’t sing.” --Florence Foster Jenkins

Brynmor
Posts: 257
Joined: Sun Mar 02, 2008 3:32 pm
Location: United Kindom

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Brynmor » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:11 pm

I have used the reverse footstool for a long time. Never really thought about it, but I find it far more comfortable.

User avatar
robin loops
Posts: 3227
Joined: Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:57 am
Location: California

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by robin loops » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:49 pm

I found too much forward pressure when I tried this (felt like I was falling forward) but I have had great results from a flat padded stool (no angle). And since it's padded my foot angle can conform to what's most comfortable in any given moment. Also the padding keeps the foot from being 100% static which feels much better over time (and the minute movement helps with circulation problem I had in left leg too).
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them, One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them.
-James-

Nick Cutroneo
Posts: 3073
Joined: Sun Sep 10, 2006 1:22 am
Location: Manchester, CT

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Nick Cutroneo » Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:52 pm

Or use a footstool which is flat. My footstool that I currently use is easily 30-35 years old, if not more. It was my dad's before I got it. Most comfortable footstool, ever. If I use an incline footstool I typically use them one the lower setting, any more and my foot hurts.
Nick Cutroneo - Classical Guitarist, performer/teacher/suzuki instructor

User avatar
Steve Kutzer
Posts: 1441
Joined: Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:11 pm
Location: Atlanta, Georgia

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Steve Kutzer » Fri Nov 08, 2013 9:44 pm

Steve Kutzer wrote:Interesting - like the old "earth shoes".

I generally play with a dynarette, but will give the reverse footstool a shot tonight.
I tried it and can't say I noticed much of a difference. So for me, I'm sticking with the dynarette.
See my technology (and guitar!) site CIO Dojo

User avatar
lagartija
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 11284
Joined: Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:37 pm
Location: Western Massachusetts, USA

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by lagartija » Mon Nov 11, 2013 2:14 pm

lagartija wrote:Hmmm.... interesting! I'll give it a try tonight.
It was an interesting change, but not more comfortable for me.
When the sun shines, bask.
__/^^^^^o>
Classical Guitar forever!

User avatar
BugDog
Posts: 1160
Joined: Wed Oct 03, 2007 4:07 pm
Location: Northern KY USA

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by BugDog » Mon Nov 11, 2013 5:16 pm

I've been doing that for a while. Read about here someplace.

I started doing it because I found that I was raising my heel anyway. In the interest of reducing tension, I turned the foot stool around and raised it a notch or two. Made a positive difference.
BugDog
There's one in every crowd.

ChristianSchwengeler
Luthier
Posts: 1319
Joined: Sun Apr 29, 2012 6:18 pm
Location: Lisbon Portugal

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by ChristianSchwengeler » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:42 pm

I do it since many years and I can't see any argument to use it in an other way. It is much more relaxing for the foot and it gives you over all a much better and more relaxed position.

Impy

Re: Reverse your footstool, relax your foot

Post by Impy » Tue Jan 07, 2014 10:56 pm

I was using a footstool most of the time I took lessons. I started using it the reversed way after a surgery on a broken ankle, because bending the foot upwards was more painful than downwards. My teacher and I had some serious discussion with another teacher of another musical school when I kept it that way after the injury has been healed, but his only argument was "That's just not done!". My teacher and I always had a big laugh about that afterwards :D

Return to “Ergonomics and Posture for Classical Guitarists”