It all starts from the ground up. Your feet might not seem like significant contributors to your overall health. However, when it comes to the external aspects of your body, there is no harder working part then your feet. They keep you moving, and if you take proper care of them, your feet will prevent back, knee and hip pain.
What follow will explain 5 exercises that will strengthen your feet, help prevent pain, and improve your balance.
1. Toe Presses
Like any body part, the feet need to have their muscles warmed up properly before engaging in exercise. Toe presses are a great low impact warm up for your feet, and, the movement can be quite relaxing. Stand tall and bend slightly in the knees. Next grip the floor with your toes and hold for a count of three. Release and perform a set of 10 reps three times a day.
2. Toe Walking
You don't have to be a ballerina for this foot exercise. Toe walking will help strengthen the muscles in your toes, as well as the ligaments and muscles surrounding the balls of your feet. To perform the toe walking exercise all you must do is stand on your tiptoes and walk forward for 20 seconds. Once you have completed this walk, rest for 10-15 seconds. Repeat this exercise 5 more times.
Note: this exercise should be performed 2 times a day for best results.
3. Ankle Circles
Ankle mobility and flexibility are extremely important. Ankle's that are tight and restricted often causes the rest of the body to compensate for their flaws, which results in muscle and joint pain throughout the body. If your ankles are tight you might experience hip, back or knee pain.
To perform ankle circles, put your back to the floor and extend one leg over your head. Rotate the extended leg's ankle clockwise for 10 counts. Then, rotate the extended leg's ankle counterclockwise for 10 counts. Switch legs and repeat.
4. Resisted Flexion
Resisted flexion is excellent for targeting the hard to reach small muscles in the foot. These muscles often play a crucial role in maintaining balance. Strengthening these muscles will prevent injury.
To perform this exercise you will need one exercise band. Sitting on the floor, straighten your feet out in front of you. Next, wrap an exercise band around a sturdy chair or bedpost, and then place the band on the top of your feet. While in a seated position on the floor, slide back until you feel tension in the band.
Flex your foot backwards and hold for a count of 5, release and repeat this movement for 10 repetitions.
5. Toe Pencil Pickups
Toe pencil pickups are easy to perform and can be done almost anywhere. All you will need for this exercise is a pencil (or pen we are not picky). Stand in front of the pencil you wish to pick up. Using your toes grab this pencil and elevate it off the ground, hold for 10 seconds, then drop it. Repeat this movement 5 times for each foot.
This exercise routine should only take about 20 minutes to complete. Preform these exercises in succession of each other every 2-3 days for best results.