Foot strength and mobility are crucial components for all walks of life, especially those who run or perform other fitness activities. Despite their importance, both are often neglected components of strength and recovery regimens. The foot is instrumental in absorbing shock as you mobilize, and functions as a rigid surface for the push-off motion. Additionally, muscular imbalances and dysfunctions in the feet can result in injury. Incorporate these two important moves into your routine to improve foot health.
Toe Spread & Press
Plantar fasciitis is a common condition that leads to pain and inflammation of the tissue that runs across the bottom of your foot. To treat this condition, it is important to incorporate an arch-strengthening exercise called the toe spread & press.
(1) Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
(2) Lift your toes and spread them as far apart as possible, and hold them until lightly fatigued.
(3) With your toes spread on the ground, press the ball of your big toe down without letting any part of your foot lift.
(4) Perform ten reps three times per week.
Standing Calf Raise
The big toe is the primary push-off point during running, but it is common to have limited mobility in this region. The calf raise will focus on the big toe to build arch strength.
(1) Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
(2) Raise the heels and finish by shifting your weight onto the big toe.
(3) Keep the ball of each foot on the ground throughout the movement.
(4) Complete 2 to 3 sets of 20 reps before your workout.
If you are still experiencing foot pain after trying these moves, please consult with your trainer or physical therapist about developing the right treatment plan for you.