Build Strong Feet and Improve Balance

How Important Are Strong Feet and Balance?

Our feet are the most used & abused part of the body. The arches of the feet provide us with flexibility, help to absorb shock, distribute the weight of the body, and assist the feet in adapting to surface changes when walking, running, & climbing. Lack of proper foot and/or arch strength & flexibility can contribute to fallen arches, ankle, knee, hip, back, shoulder, & neck problems, and potential pain or injury. Good balance and body control is necessary for daily living activities as well as sport performance. Our feet play an important role in maintaining posture and health and strong feet will be less likely to suffer injury.

If you are looking to strengthen your biceps you do some curls with weights but how do you strengthen the muscles in your feet? There are some simple exercises that you can do at home that will make a big difference.

  1. Place your barefoot flat on the floor and simply curl your toes by pressing the ends of your toes into the floor. This helps to strengthen the metatarsal arch and long muscles (lumbricals) of the forefoot.
  2. Try to pick up a pencil or towel with your toes. This will help to strengthen the flexors and also calls on other intrinsic and extrinsic muscles to perform this task.
  3. Spread your toes apart as far as you can. You can use toe separators to help train your toes to spread. The toes should be as flexible as our fingers.
  4. Attempt to move only your great toe medially, away from the rest of your toes. This will strengthen the abductor hallucis which is the most difficult muscle to activate. Don’t be surprised if you can’t do this one right away.
  5. Calf raises. Standing with your feet flat on the floor, shoulder width apart, raise up onto your toes. This will activate all of the flexors, specifically the tibialis posterior and perineals. If you have stability issues please hold onto the wall while you do this exercise.
  6. Holding your leg out in front of you spell the alphabet in the air with your feet. This will help to improve range of motion.

There are a number of other exercises more specific to particular muscle groups but these few should get your started. There are also a variety of exercise products to help strengthen the feet like the toe separators mentioned in #3, an elasticized band or a Bosu Ball. If you have any questions about these exercises or would like some more details feel free to book an assessment and we can help customize a routine for your feet.