3 Exercises For Foot Strength
The feet connect you to the ground.
Having stability in the foot means that everything up the chain is set up for stability as well. The feet link your body to the ground and because all of your structures are linked together, any dysfunction at your feet can impact the rest of your body greatly.
Learn how to use your toes.
Wouldn’t it be weird if you couldn’t control the fingers of your hand? What if you couldn’t spread them, grip with them, or use them individually?
The toes and feet and remarkably similar to your fingers and hands. While the toes and feet are less dextrous and mobile, they still share important similarities to the fingers and hands.
Mobility, control, and strength are vital.
In a previous blog, we looked at how flat feet can impact knee position and performance. This blog will look closer at the function of the toes and how they relate to overall stability of the foot and ankle.
Note: We recommend starting on the post linked below to develop the arch of your foot before the trying the exercises in this blog.
1. Big Toe, Little Toe
Being able to disassociate your toes is important as the awareness and control you develop from this plays a huge role in the stability and strength of your feet.
Start with a stable arch position.
Lift your big toe up without your little toes leaving the ground.
Reset and then lift your little toes without your big toe leaving the ground.
Do these toe movements while maintaining a stable arch position.
2. Elevated Holds (Assisted)
Aside from contributing to overall stability of the foot, a major role of your big toe is to help you drive in to the ground when walking, running, or jumping. Loading this in training is important so that your body can handle the stresses placed on it in function.
Elevate your foot in between two plates (you could use books as well) so that only your big toe and your heel is in contact with the plates.
Drive your big toe down, while using your other leg as much as you need to maintain balance and support.
3. Elevated Holds (Unassisted)
As above, without assistance from your other leg.
When you are walking, running, or jumping, you need to be able to use the tissues in your feet like a spring. This transfers energy into your next movement by storing and releasing energy (elastic to kinetic energy).
In function, this requires speedy deceleration and acceleration and requires training. While we show the elevated holds as a static movement to begin with, you should progress into pulses when you are strong enough.
Give these a go and let us know how you get on! Don't forget to share the love to somebody working on their foot strength!
Author: Laurent Pang