With more than 20 muscles that stabilize, strengthen and provide explosive power to your whole body, your feet are key to a great athletic performance — yet in most fitness programs, they tend to go overlooked.
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If you’re a runner or athlete, you can improve balance, coordination and boost performance by stretching and strengthening the muscles in your feet, in the very same way you’d train up your other muscles. The stronger your feet, the stronger your foundation is for everything.
Get a better grip on your daily workout routine with these feet-strengthening exercises.
Start the feet strengthening exercise routine by warming up with a set of toe presses to keep you grounded.
- Stand tall and bend slightly in the knees.
- Grip the floor with all 10 toes.
- Hold for a count of three (avoid curling your toes).
- Release and perform a set of 10 reps three times a day.
- Up the intensity by holding your grip longer.
Now that your feet are warm, you’re ready to get started with a little game of Monopoly.
Who knew picking up after a board game could become such a fun and exciting exercise? Try this feet strengthening exercise by scattering little bits of Monopoly pieces (or any small pieces will work) across the floor and picking them up with your feet.
- Stand in front of the mess of Monopoly pieces.
- Pick up 10 pieces with you right foot transferring each to a cup nearby.
- Repeat with the left leg.
- Challenge anyone around you to race to the finish.
Since you now have room cleaned up, it will be easier to tip-toe through with some toe walking.
One of the easiest ways to quickly start strengthening your feet and toes is by simply walking on your tip-toes.
- Pace by walking on your toes for a total of 20 seconds.
- Rest then repeat for a total of 8 reps two times a day.
- Up the intensity by increasing the time of your walks.
Spread Your Toes
Now that you’ve tip-toed the room in a true dancer’s fashion, try another standing exercise to increase your balance.
- Stand tall with knees slightly bent
- With feet flat, spread your toes as far as they reach
- Relax and repeat 10 times
- Add another set for two sets total three times a day
Move on to the flex and stretch foot exercise.
Feet Stretch And Flex
Now that you have your toes stretched, move onto the foot flexing exercise with an exercise band.
- Sit on the floor with feet straight out in front
- Wrap an exercise band around a sturdy chair or bedpost
- Place the band on the tops of your feet
- Situate your body seated so that the band pulls with slight resistance
- Work the feet by flexing against the band
- Finish with two sets of 20 reps
After completing the flexing stretch, stand up for a challenge with toe lifts.
You may have the basics down, but are you ready for a challenge? Try and lift each toe one at a time.
- Stand tall with your knees slightly bent
- Concentrate on lifting one toe at a time on your right then your left
- Repeat the exercise for three sets on each foot
Add some weight to this foot exercise next to strengthen your feet with pencil curls.
Now it’s time to test the strength of your toes with some pencil curls.
- Stand tall and shift your weight to one leg
- Grab the pencil in your toes and hold for 6 seconds
- Repeat with 10 pencil curls, then switch to the other side
- Practice this exercise three times a day
- Another option is to ditch the pencil and scrunch a towel in your toes instead.
You may be feeling the burn by now, but don’t fret. The foot workout is almost finished.
End strong with a heel walk to counter the motions you’ve already done.
- Pace the room by walking on your heels
- Walk for 20 seconds, then rest to complete eight sets two times a day
Move onto an easy cool down.
Finish with small ankle circles to work out the kinks.
- Put your back to the floor
- Extend one leg over head
- Rotate clockwise for 10 counts, then counterclockwise for 10 counts
- Switch legs and repeat
Finally it’s time to relax with a rollout stretch.
Now that you are finished, be sure to cool down with a couple feet stretches.
- Sit on the floor with feet straight in front
- Flex your toes then hold
- Now roll the flex into a stretch from the bottom to the top of the arch
- Allow toes to reach the stretching (pointing position) last
- Reverse and repeat for a total of 10 slow stretches