You may not think about them all the time, but most of the time your feet are the connection between the world around you and the rest of your body. They are your base, and when a base is unstable, the effects reverberate up the chain and wreak havoc throughout the rest of your body.
Plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, ankle sprains - foot and ankle ailments are some of the most annoying out there!
Luckily, specific strengthening exercises can help to prevent these issues from plaguing your feet and allow your foundation to remain solid and healthy.
Here are seven easy exercises you can do almost anywhere to help keep your feet healthy and functioning properly!
For each of these exercises,
- Set up in a seated position with the foot flat on the floor. Try to keep the foot pointed forward or slightly out.
- Slowly move into the position shown in the picture and hold it for 6 seconds. Perform each hold 6 times.
- Begin count after reaching the position.
- All movements into and out of the position in the pictures should be done slowly and under control!
- LISTEN TO YOUR BODY if you begin to cramp, relax immediately and rest for awhile before resetting, perhaps in a lesser amount of motion. If the problem persists, move on to the next exercise and try it again another day!
Big Toe Extension
Drive little toes into floor and lift big toe up. Keep little toes down. MODIFY by using your hands to hold the little four toes down and pull big toe up if need be.
Little Toe Extensions
Drive big toe down into floor and lift four little toes up. Keep big toe down. MODIFY by using hands to hold big toe down and help pull little toes up if need be.
Keep all toes in contact with floor and try not to let them move. Contract the bottom of your foot, increasing the arch. A little bit of toe sliding on the ground is okay as the arch increases, however the friction of your toes and the ground should prevent most motion.
Tibial Internal Rotation
In a controlled manner, spin your right foot and lower leg inward, so that your toe is pointing towards your other foot. Do not allow knee to move to side/side or front/back.
Starting with foot flat, contract muscles on the outside of lower leg to pull the outside of your foot up and away from other foot. When foot is flat, small toes are slightly below big toe. Now big toe should be even with or slightly below little toes.
Keep heel in contact with the floor and lift the top of the foot up towards the knee. For the 1st version, curl the toes once the foot is raised, without letting the foot drop. For the 2nd version, drive the toes up even more once the foot is raised.