When it comes to our bodies, everything starts with our feet. They might not seem like significant contributors to your general health, but when it comes to the external aspects of the body, the feet are the hardest working parts. Not only do they keep us moving, but they can also prevent back, knee and hip pain if they are properly taken care for.
Here are 5 exercises that will help you strengthen your feet, prevent pain, and improve your balance.
- Toe Presses
Toe presses are relaxing moves with a low impact, and are a great warm up for your feet. The feet, like any other body part, need to have their muscles warmed up before engaging in exercise. Stand tall and bend slightly in the knees. Then grip the floor with your toes and hold for a count of three. Release and repeat this exercise 10 times, thrice a day.
- Toe Walking
This foot exercise is not only for ballerinas. It will help strengthen the muscles in your toes and in your ligaments and also the muscles surrounding the balls of your feet. To perform this exercise you will need to stand on your tiptoes and walk forward for 20 seconds. When you complete this walk, rest for 10-15 seconds and then repeat this exercise 5 more times.
Note: to achieve the best results, perform this exercise 2 times a day.
- Ankle Circles
It is extremely important to have mobile and flexible ankles. Tight and restricted ankles often cause the rest of the body to compensate for their flaws, and this often results in muscle and joint pain. Tight ankles cause hip, back or knee pain.
To perform this exercise, put your back to the floor and extend one leg over your head. Rotate the extended leg’s ankle clockwise 10 times. Then, rotate the extended leg’s ankle counterclockwise for 10 counts. Repeat with the other leg.
- Resisted Flexion
Resisted flexion is an excellent exercise for targeting the small muscles in the foot that are hard to reach. These muscles often play an essential role in maintaining balance. Strengthening these muscles will prevent injury.
You will need one exercise band to perform this exercise. Sit on the floor and straighten your feet out in front of you. Then wrap an exercise band around a sturdy chair or bedpost and place the band on the top of your feet. Remain in the seated position while, at the same time, sliding back until you feel tension in the band.
Flex your foot backwards and hold for a count of 5, release and repeat this movement 10 times.
- Toe Pencil Pickups
Toe pencil pickups are a very easy exercise and you can do it almost anywhere. All you’ll need for this exercise is a pencil that you will put on the floor in front of you. Just stand in front of the pencil and grab it using your toes, hold it for 10 seconds, and then drop it. Repeat this movement 5 times with each foot.
This exercise routine shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes to complete. Perform these exercises every third or second day for best results.