When it comes to exercise, you probably overlook one of the most important parts of your body – your feet. You probably train your core, lower body and upper body, without thinking to strengthen your feet.
But, the truth is that you use your feet to stand, run, and walk. They are the foundation of your body. They play a vital role in transferring all the force from your body to the ground.
So, if they are weak, the rest of your body compensates for the job they cannot do. Keeping your feet flexible and strong can help keep you active, relieve foot and ankle pain, soothe muscle soreness, and enhance your overall foot health. It can also help relieve and prevent pain throughout the rest of your body, including your back.
If your ankles or feet aren’t working right, don’t overlook them. If your they ache a lot, if you have any injuries, or if you have diabetes or arthritis, consult your physical therapist or doctor before doing any of these foot exercises. Depending on your needs, your physical therapist or doctor may add other exercises or take away some of these foot exercises.
Your feet, knees, hips and back will thank you!
6 Foot Exercises to Relieve Foot, Ankle, Hip and Back Pain:
– Toe Presses
You should do a warm-up before doing any physical exercise. This foot exercise is a great way to do so because it works on your calf muscles and promotes stabilization in your body.
Stand tall and slightly bend your knees. Grip the floor with all ten toes. Hold for about three seconds. Release and perform a set of ten repetitions three times per day.
– Heel Walking
This exercise can strengthen your feet and the muscles that support the front of your ankles.
Lift your feet. Keep your toes pointed forward yet off the floor. Walk for twenty seconds. Rest and perform a set of eight repetitions twice a day.
– Toe Walking
This foot exercise helps strengthen your toes and feet. All you need to do is walk on your tip-toes.
Walk on your toes for about twenty seconds. Rest and perform a set of eight repetitions twice a day. You can increase the time of your walks in order to up the intensity.
– Ankle Circles
Any kind of ankle stiffness or injury can contribute to more than just ankle pain. It can contribute to pain in your knee, back, joints, and muscles. That’s why it’s important to keep your ankles strong and flexible.
This foot exercise can be done anywhere, from your bedroom to your office. Lie down on your back and put your legs in the air. Pull one knee up to your chest, lace your fingers together, and rest your hands in the space behind your joint. Point your toes at the ceiling, while rotating your foot in a full circle. Rotate clockwise for ten seconds counts, then counterclockwise for ten seconds. Then, switch legs and repeat.
– Plantar Flexion with Resistance Band
This foot exercise can strengthen your arch muscles.
Sit on the floor and extend your left leg. Wrap one end of a resistance band around the ball of your left foot, while holding the other end in your hands. Gently press the foot forward pointing it as you maintain the band’s resistance. Return to the initial position. Perform a set of twenty repetitions and repeat on the right side.
– Foot Roll
Plantar fasciitis often affects those that run in shoes without proper arch support as well as distance runners that have chronically tight calves, back, hamstrings, or Achilles tendons. It can also be triggered by a muscular imbalance in the pelvis or hips. A common prescription for this condition is rolling your foot over a foot roller.
Place the foot roller underneath your heel. Roll to the ball of your foot, then back to your heel. Perform a set of ten repetitions, before switching to the other foot. Repeat a few times a day.