In a previous recovery blog post called Foot Stretches and therapy posts called Foot massage devices, I emphasized the need to keep the foot flexible. Ensuring that your foot is strong can help combat tightness and prevent weakness in the foot from causing more inflammation and tightness. As someone with orthotics, the muscles in my feet no longer have to do anything due to the orthotics doing it for me. I see orthotics as something to prevent further deterioration, but you need to do more for your feet. Strengthening your feet can also improve the arch and not only stop its collapse but make the foot better than before. It can also help your feet stabilize further, enhancing balance and stopping you from falling over and injuring yourself. Some stretches I mentioned in the Food Stretches post can be considered exercises, so there may be some overlap. Please utilize some of the exercises to strengthen the feet as it can dramatically help your body.
- The first exercise is called a toe raise and the instructions come from Health Line’s article “Toe Raises for Strength and Balance.” It involves you beginning with your feet and toes on the floor. You can do this seated or standing. While one foot remained planted on the ground, lift your toes on the opposite foot. Hold for 3 to 5 seconds before lowering and aim to do these about 10-15 times and for 3 sets if possible.
- The second exercise is called a toe point and the instruction comes from Pole Pedia’s article “How To Point Your Toes Properly And Achieve A Better Arch.” To do this you will start with a flexed foot. Next engage the ankle and ball of the feet by trying to reach out and away from you, extending your foot as long as possible Next, reach out with your toes. Your toes should start to point down with the stretch, and you will feel the arch muscles engaging
The third exercise will be toe curls and the instructions come from Medical News today’s “What are the best foot exercises for healthy feet.” This exercise can be performed with a towel or solely on the ground. In a chair, sit up straight with the feet flat on the floor. You can place your feet on a towel or solely on the ground. Try to grasp the towel between the toes and pull it toward yourself. For those not using a towel, imagine you are curling your feet with a towel and then pulling that towel closer to your body with the feet. Repeat this exercise approximately five times before switching feet.
The fourth exercise is called marble pickup and comes from the same Medical News Today source. Sit up straight in a chair with the feet flat on the floor. Place an empty bowl and 20 marbles on the floor in front of your feet. Using only the toes of one foot, pick up each marble and place it in the empty bowl. After picking up the 20 marbles, repeat this exercise with the other foot.
- The next exercise I want you to do is walking barefoot on the sand. The soft texture of sand makes walking more physically demanding for the muscles and stretches the foot muscles at the exact same time. To do this you will need to go to a beach, desert, volleyball court, or any other place with sand and walk on it barefooted. It seems incredibly simple, but it is one of the greatest exercises for the feet in my opinion.
- The sixth exercise is called toe yoga and will come from Airrosti Rehab Centers’ video “Top 3 Stretches for General Foot Pain.” Put your feet flat on the floor and lift up the big toe while you push the other four toes to the ground. Then push the big toe to the ground and lift the other four toes. If you cannot do this without moving the toes, use your feet or hands to hold either the four toes or the big toe down when you do this exercise. You should do these about 5-10 times for each foot.
These are the six exercises I primarily use to strengthen my feet. I would highly recommend looking at the recovery post called Toe Stretches as both the stretches and exercises are essential to assist your feet. Please help your feet that support your entire body weight by performing these exercises. When I began stretches and exercises for the feet, I noticed a difference almost instantly and each day my feet feel so much better. Many people under prioritize their feet when it comes to exercising, which I think is a horrible standard people have made. Refuse to make the same mistakes and begin helping your feet now.