9 Foot Exercises For Strengthening, Flexibility & Pain Relief
Posted on May 19 2022
’m something with digits, although I’m not a clock…I’m something that helps you move, although I’m not a wheel…Your body has two, it’s put, in a shoe…don’t wonder more! We’re not introducing you to any poetry here…we thought we'll bring it up with a riddle today and the answer to the riddle is ‘feet’.
Just like how wheels of any vehicle help carry load, and form the most dependent part of a vehicle, feet are our natural wheels that help carry our load and is very important to be taken care of. The muscles of the feet can become deconditioned over time due to tight socks, ill-fitting/inflexible footwear, wrong sitting posture, overweight, and many more reasons.
Lack of stability in the feet can travel up the leg. Strengthening the muscles of the feet can prevent ankle pain or ankles from rolling outward, inward collapse at the knee joints, twisting of the hip. Taking time to strengthen and stretch our feet and ankles is vital for walking, running, jumping, climbing up the stairs, standing, or to maintain body balance and posture.
When it comes to; leg strengthening, you folks generally focus on training quadriceps, glutes, hamstrings, knees, calves and forget the foundation!
In this blog, we’re suggesting certain; stretching exercises that target the muscle groups of the feet. Read on to learn more...
1. Sit on a low chair with your feet firmly planted; on the floor (your heels and toes should be resting on the floor).
2. Keeping the heels rooted to the ground, lift your toes to loosen up; and spread them like a fan, as wide as you can.
3. Hold the stretch for 5 seconds, and then relax your toes and lower them back down.
4. Repeat this spreading motion ten times on each foot.
This exercise works the dorsal interossei, which are the group of 4 bicephalic feather-shaped muscles that fill the space between the metatarsal bones of the foot.
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1. Sit on a low chair with your feet and soles of your feet firmly planted on the floor.
2. Place a bowl having 20 marbles in front of your right foot.
3. Use your right foot toes to pick up one marble at a time and drop it into the other empty bowl placed in front of your left foot.
4. Perform the marble picking movement until you have picked up all the marbles with the right foot toes.
5. Once; you’re done picking up marbles on one foot, do the same on the other foot.
This exercise prevents heel pain and stiffness in the feet, increase the stretch and strengthen the muscles on the underside of the feet and toes.
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TOWEL CURLS WITH TOES
1. Stand with your feet flat on the ground with a towel placed on the ground under your right foot.
2. Stretch your toes out, grasp the towel and curl it towards you. Pull the towel back in to grip the towel with your toes.
3. Try to lift the towel one to two inches off the ground and hold for 5 seconds.
4. Release the towel and perform the gripping movement for a count of 10 on right foot.
5. Once you are done on the right foot, work up holding the grip for 10 counts on left foot.
6. If you want to make this exercise more challenging, place a weight on the edge of the towel for resistance. Remember to use only your toes and not your whole foot to curl the towel.
This exercise builds the flexor muscles of the toes and feet, improves overall strength, balance, can help reduce or prevent pain from foot injuries.
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WRITE THE ALPHABET
1. Sit comfortably on a chair or couch, relaxed against the back.
2. Extend one of your legs a few inches off the ground.
3. Slowly trace the alphabet in the air using your big toe (you are using only your toe and ankle, not your entire leg to perform this).
4. Switch legs and trace the entire alphabet.
This exercise will strengthen the smaller, more intricate muscles of the foot, improves range of motion, keeps the ankle strong and mobile.
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TENNIS BALL ROLL
1. You can choose to perform this exercise either by standing or sitting.
2. Sit comfortably on a chair with your back held straight and feet flat on the floor.
3. Place a tennis ball on the floor under the ball of your right foot.
4. Place your foot on the ball and roll it along the bottom of your foot from ball of the foot to heel.
5. Continue the movement for 2-3 minutes and repeat on the other foot.
This exercise allows superficial muscles of the feet to relax and release tension in the feet, loosen up your plantar fascia, reduce foot soreness and improves circulation in the feet.
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BENT KNEE WALL STRETCH
1. Begin the exercise by placing your palms against the wall, with one leg forward and one leg back.
2. Lower your body into a seated position by bending your knees.
3. You should feel the stretch in your calf and heels.
4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, switch legs and repeat.
This exercise works quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and improves strength of heels.
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1. Sit on the floor or bed with your legs stretched out in front of you.
2. Keeping your knees straight, loop a towel around your feet.
3.Grip the end of the towel and pull the towel back towards yourself until you feel it stretching your calves.
4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds, and release.
This ankle dorsiflexion improves ankle flexibility, dexterity, stretches calf muscles, prevents muscle spasms in your foot, reduces foot cramping, and strengthens muscles in your lower leg.
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1. Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart and hands by your side. You can also perform this exercise by sitting on a chair keeping your back straight.
2. Shift your weight on to one leg and extend the other leg in front and rotate your foot slowly in a clockwise direction.
3. Perform a series of rotation in the clockwise direction and then in anti-clockwise direction.
4. Repeat the rotation movement on the other leg.
This exercise restores ankle strength, improves foot mobility and flexibility.
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STANDING SINGLE LEG HEEL RAISES
1. Stand erect with your bodyweight equally distributed over both feet.
2. Hold on to the back of a sturdy chair or wall for balance.
3. Lift one foot off the floor so that body weight is placed on the other foot.
4. Raise the heel of the other foot as high as you can.
5. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds and release.
6. Continue the stretching motion for 10 times on one foot and then repeat on the other foot.
This exercise works gastrocnemius and soleus muscles of the shin involved in plantar flexion. It improves ankle strength, stability and aids with body balance.
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Feet are the base of support for most everyday activities, making your feet stronger and flexible will create a better base system for the entire body….
In the end, strengthening your feet is just as rewarding as strengthening any other part of your body, so don’t ignore it…
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