Written by Amanda Kotel, B. Sc. Exercise Science, Kinesiologist
Photography by Paul Buceta
Strong and flexible feet muscles are so important for balance. Think about it: we don’t stand stiff and statically like soldiers; our bodies are constantly swaying and moving, relying on the muscles in our feet and ankles for stabilization. Throughout our day, our feet and ankles are continuously making slight adjustments to correct our balance, placing the weight of our body over our feet. If our feet and ankles are stiff, sore or weak, they won’t be able to make the strong, swift adjustments you depend on to rock your workouts. Try these exercises for strong, supple, pliable feet.
1. Trigger Point Release
While standing, place a roller at the ball of your foot, applying as much pressure as you comfortably can by shifting your weight forward. Roll back towards the heel, stopping at any point there is extra tightness or soreness. Continue rolling over the area until pain subsides. Do this for 2 minutes, then switch feet. Get this roller: Pick up your own Quadballer at tptherapy.com ($60).
Tip: If you don’t have a roller you can use a tennis ball!
2. Towel Grab
Sit or lie on the floor with a small towel under one foot. Keeping your heel down, lift your toes and curl them to grab the cloth and pull it towards you. Repeat 5-10 times, then switch feet.
3. Heel Raises
Stand and place your hand on a wall or back of a chair for support. Transfer your weight to one foot and raise your heel and arch while keeping your toes flat on the floor. Hold for a moment, then slowly lower back down. Repeat 10 times then switch feet.