Learn The 5 Steps to Strong Feet

Here are five strength and mobility moves for fit feet.

Start your journey to fitter feet by practicing regular strength and mobility exercises that target your feet, ankles, hips, and core. You can rehabilitate your feet to prevent injury or offset age-related issues. “You don’t have to give up and think, I’m too old to fix it,” says Eischens Yoga teacher Lynn Shuck. “You’re not.”

There are a handful of simple strength and mobility drills you can practice to keep your feet healthy. For example, one easy way to create greater joint mobility and counteract all the time you spend in shoes is to roll the soles of your bare feet over a tennis ball periodically throughout the day, she says. If your feet are especially tight and tender, begin in a seated position. If your feet aren’t as tense, you can roll each foot while standing or even switch to a smaller ball, such as a handball.

Mindful walking helps build awareness of how you’re using your feet, while also developing foot strength and mobility, says performance physiotherapist Mike Gauvreau. Find an area where you can walk barefoot (you can also wear minimalist shoes) and spend 10 to 15 minutes walking — paying close attention to how you’re naturally placing your feet. (Learn more about your gait by reading “Relearn to Walk“.)

Finally, building full-body strength will go a long way toward rehabbing and rehabbing foot conditions. “All of the muscles and joints of the lower limb are involved in foot and arch support, and thus it’s important to make sure we’re strengthening all of them,” explains physical therapist Erika Mundinger, who designed the following routine.

Perform this routine two or three times per week, preferably before workouts.

Note: If you have moderate foot pain that doesn’t improve after two weeks, consult a physical therapist or podiatrist about targeted treatment. If you can’t walk without limping or you suffer from acute foot pain and swelling, seek professional help before beginning this program.

1) Dead Bug

Illustration by Jude Buffum

This move teaches you how to stabilize your pelvis and spine while moving your limbs, which is key for optimal posture, explains Mundinger. When your posture is stable, your feet can land in a better position.

  • While lying down with knees bent, press your lower back into the floor and then lift both knees until your shins are parallel to the floor. Reach your arms toward the ceiling.
  • Tighten your abdominals, then lower one arm toward the floor alongside your ear while simultaneously straightening the opposite leg. Lower your limbs only as far as you can without arching your lower back.
  • Return to start and repeat with the opposite arm and leg. Complete three sets of 10 reps per side.

2) Hip Thrust

Illustration by Jude Buffum

This exercise strengthens your gluteus maximus and hamstrings. When these muscles are strong, they stabilize your thighbones better, keeping your knees and feet from rotating in or out as you walk or run.

  • Position your body so your upper back is resting against a bench or box, with your knees and hips bent.
  • Tighten your abdominal and gluteal muscles and push through your feet to lift your hips until they’re parallel to the floor. Do not arch your back during the exercise.
  • Hold briefly, then lower your hips to start. Repeat to complete three sets of 10 reps. Make the exercise harder by adding weight across your hips.

3) Banded Sidestep

Illustration by Jude Buffum

This works both your gluteus maximus and medius, which minimizes rotation of your thighs and ankles.

4) Seated Towel Pickup

Illustration by Jude Buffum

This exercise strengthens your foot arch to help prevent pronation or arch collapse.

  • Sit in a chair with a towel on the floor in front of you.
  • Using just your toes, pick up the towel, then drop it, and pick it up again.
  • Keep your movements slow and controlled. Complete three sets of 10 reps per foot.

5) Single-Leg Balance on Foam Pad


Illustration by Jude Buffum

This exercise activates all the muscles in your legs and core to limit rotation of your hips, knees, and ankles, while also strengthening your arch and all the intrinsic muscles of your feet.


Blog Source: Experience Life | 5 Steps to Strong Feet


I’m Joseph, and I started this blog as a way to share ideas with others. I wanted to create a space where people could share their thoughts and feelings, and where we could all have a good laugh. Since then, the blog has grown into something much larger than I ever imagined. We have posts on everything from humorous essays to comics to interviews. And our weekly columns cover sports, video games, college life, and software.
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