Your feet are a lot more important than you think.
In fact, muscle weakness in your feet can cause hip, back and knee pain.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, your feet are most likely under-stretched. This can lead to muscle weakness and even shortened muscles.
Stretching your feet properly every morning (and again before long walks or exercise) can greatly reduce any pain you may be feeling elsewhere in your body.
It may feel a little awkward or painful at first, but regular foot stretches will make a big difference in your overall mobility and balance.
1. Heel Raises
Heel raises will help realign the tendons in your calves and readjust your ankle joints.
It can also help strengthen your toes and give you better balance.
- Grab a chair and place it in front of you.
- Stand tall and lift your left leg off the ground.
- Make sure to bend your right leg a little at the knee.
- Slowly raise and lower right heel, making sure that your foot is properly aligned with your leg.
- Do about 10-20 reps and switch legs.
- You should perform about 2-3 sets for best result.
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.
- Stand on your tiptoes with your feet straight and walk forward for 20 seconds.
- Next, point for toes outward and walk for another 20 seconds.
- Once that’s done, point your toes inwards and repeat.
- Rest for 10-15 seconds.
- Repeat the whole routine 5 more times.
3. Ankle Circles
If your ankles are tight, you might experience hip, back or knee pain.
- Lie down on your back in a comfortable position and bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor.
- Hug your right knee to your chest and move your right ankle in a circular motion.
- Your toes should be pointed as they reach a 12 o’clock position and flexed outwards as they reach 6 o’clock.
- Do about 5-10 in circles in a clockwise motion and change direction.
- Repeat for another 5-10 circles.
- Once you’re done with one foot, bring it down and switch legs.
- Repeat the whole exercise with your left ankle.
- For best results, do about 5 sets with each foot.