5 Foot Exercises to Strengthen the Feet
Even the finest athletes forget the importance of exercising the feet. However, the fact is that when your feet are weak, the rest of your body will need to compensate. In fact, those with weaker feet are near guaranteed to experience back pain as they age.
To support your body and save yourself from injury, here are 5 foot exercises to keep your feet in their finest form:
1. Exercise Barefoot
The first step to stronger feet is to train them to support you without the help of fancy footwear. The greatest advantage to going barefoot is, of course, freeing your feet to utilize their full range of motion.
You can begin by simply walking barefoot around the house. Then, try walking around on your tip toes, balancing yourself only on the balls of your feet. Repeat sets of heel lifts, raising yourself up and down on the balls of your feet, while doing your best to maintain balance. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, slowly increase the repetitions and duration, stopping before your feet become too sore.
The balance challenge is key to building strength and stability in your feet.
2. Run on the Beach
More specifically, run on the sand, or any similarly soft surface. The advantage of sand is that it shifts and responds to the force of your weight, improving your feet’s joint articulation while increasing strength and range of motion. Running on softer surfaces prevents repetitive trauma to the feet, reducing the likelihood of injury.
3. Resistance Foot Exercises
Sit down with your legs extended straight on the floor. Secure a flat resistance band to a sturdy post, and slip your foot underneath just past the toes. With the band firmly attached, try to extend the toes away from the post and towards your shin. Repeat sets by flexing and extending your feet. As your feet grow stronger, move your body farther back to create greater resistance, increasing the number of repetitions as you go.
4. BOSU Ball Balance
Exercising atop a BOSU ball is the perfect challenge to perfect your balance. The BOSU ball has an extremely firm dome, adding resistance against your feet as you force yourself to balance at an angle. Stand on the side of the dome, so that your toes are angled higher than your heels. From this position, perform sets of squats and/or jumps. For an extra challenge, try balancing on one leg, shifting your weight from leg to leg.
5. Plantar Stretch
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot injury that can be prevented with proper stretching. Seat yourself in a chair barefoot, crossing one leg so that your ankle is resting atop the opposite thigh. From this position, stretch the plantar fascia by grasping the toes and pulling them back towards your knee. Perform a set of 10 stretches on each foot, and repeat 3 times a day. Research has shown that patients suffering from plantar fasciitis had a 77% likelihood of resuming full activity when they performed this stretch.
Schedule a Consultation with Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie
Don’t wait until an injury occurs to prioritize your foot health. Schedule a consultation with skilled podiatrists Dr. Vikki and Dr. Connie today. For all of your podiatric needs, contact the professional and caring staff at the Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center.