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Setting a Solid Foundation: 5 Exercises to Improve Foot Health

Lauren Simonds C.Ped(C) -Canadian Certified Pedorthist

Our feet are absolutely crucial to our overall mobility. An average person will walk over 200,000 kilometres in their lifetime and yet the feet are so often overlooked when it comes to keeping our bodies strong and healthy. Our feet are our base of support and foundation. If that foundation is not strong and functioning properly it can throw off all movements and structures above it. Strong feet can help improve balance, prevent muscle fatigue and overuse injuries. This is why keeping your feet strong and healthy should be as common as brushing our teeth.

1.  Seated Towel Crunches/Pushes

  • While sitting in a chair, lay towel (tea towel or hand towel) flat on the ground (smooth surface)
  • Place toes over one end of towel and begin scrunching toes to move the towel closer to you
  • Once towel is bunched towards you, reverse and push towel outwards to unravel
  • Repeat 3 times on each foot

2.  Heel raise with ball squeeze (tennis ball, massage ball)

  • Stand facing a wall and place hands lightly against wall
  • Place a ball between heels
  • Slowly rise up onto your toes, hold and squeeze ball between heels for 5 seconds before slowly lowering heels back to the ground
  • Repeat 10 times

3.   Toe Lifts

  • Sitting in a chair barefoot, feet and knees hip distance apart
  • Keep your big toe down, and lift your outer 4 toes. Don't allow your knees to move. Repeat 10 times.
  • Keep your outer 4 toes down, lift your big toe. Don't allow your knees to move. Repeat 10 times.
  • Repeat on opposite foot

4.  Towel/Belt Calf Stretch

  • Sitting in a chair, take a Bath towel or Belt and wrap it around the ball of the foot
  • Extend leg forwards with a straight knee and gently pull backwards with arms to flex foot towards ceiling
  • Should feel light stretch in the back of the lower leg
  • Hold for 30-45sec and repeat 3 times on each side

5.   Plantar Fascia Roll-out

  • Sitting in a chair, take a golf ball, tennis ball or massage ball and roll from the big toe, into the arch and back towards the heel
  • Focus on areas that feel sore and be sure to keep your foot relaxed over the ball
  • Repeat on opposite foot

As always, if you have any questions or are currently struggling with foot or leg pain, please contact our clinics to book your complimentary assessment with one of our Pedorthists!