By: Keshia King
Your feet…they are the first thing that hits the floor when you wake up in the morning. We underestimate the importance of this small part. You need them to get from point A to B when you walk, run or drive. They support you when you want to lift heavy weights or jump swiftly.
But WHY are the feet known as the foundation of your body?
The feet have to perform many different functions- simultaneously and separately:
- They carry majority of our body weight
- They propel us forward to move (aka walking, jogging and running)
- They provide stability to help us with our balance,
- They are a sensor and adapt to different terrain (so we don’t fall and injure ourselves) , and
- They absorb impact from our body weight coming into contact with a surface by acting like a spring.
And that is to just to name a few of the functions of this often forgotten area of the body. This is why it is not only important to treat those tootsies but also to strengthen them so they can keep carrying you on your way.
How to Strengthen & Lengthen The Feet
You cannot have one without the other. We must strengthen the muscles in the foot, in which there are 4 layers of, to help us to power through and endure any movement that the body requires of us. While lengthening and stretching the tissue helps to keep flexibility and range of motion so the feet can adapt more easily and move without pain.
Both together help to decrease the risk of injury, overuse, and pain.
Here are 3 easy ways to lengthen and strengthen:
- Rolling out the feet with a tennis ball or lacrosse ball:
- Think of it like an epic massage for your feet that you can do while you are sitting and watching Netflix or standing and brushing your teeth.
- Single Leg Stand:
- This simple but not so simple move helps to activate the toes, under the foot, ankle and calf. It challenges your strength, stability, and balance in the foot and ankle- as well as the rest of the body too!
- Spacing out your Toes:
- After wearing shoes all day the feet and the toes feel like they have been crammed into a clown car, especially if you wear dress shoes or heels. By interlacing your sock in between your toes (like they do when you get a pedicure) this helps to create space between all your digits. This helps to reduce the occurrence of bunions, plantar fasciitis and sore feet in general.
- Check out this amazing video on TOE Controlled Articular Rotation
It’s time to give those tootsies some TLC just like you would your neck and lower back because the feet can also help with these areas too! But that is an entire other post 😉
Some common injuries of the feet include: plantar fascitis, mortons neuroma, bunions, heel spurs to name a few! The best way to deal with injuries to the feet are TO PREVENT THEM with the right exercises done early, To learn more about the services at PhysioDNA with foot issue contact us directly. Happy to answer any questions you may have.
About the Author:
REGISTERED KINESIOLOGIST / FASCIAL STRETCH THERAPIST (LEVEL 2) / MOVEMENT SPECIALIST