When exercising, most people will often forget to their feet. You use your feet to walk, stand, balance, and run, therefore, your feet need strengthening. They are your body’s foundation and play the role of transferring the force of your body to the ground. This means that when you have weak feet, the rest of the body must compensate for the job your feet cannot do.
Stronger feet are responsible for a stronger foundation. Strengthening your feet will ease and prevent pain to the rest of the body. In order to improve your speed, balance, control, and power, you must exercise the two things that tie it all together.
Before You Begin Exercising Your Feet
Avoid getting into feet training to fast
Getting into feet training too fast can cause back problems. Training your feet should be a long-term process since a little goes a long way. Strengthening your feet gradually is the right thing to do.
Find out how strong your feet are
Do this by using rollers of different densities and diameters. Begin testing the roller while seated. You will note that the softer the density and the larger the diameter of the roller, the easier it will be on your feet. Safely test how much pressure you can handle before adding more.
If you feel any pain, stop and go back to what you can handle.
The acceptable amount of pressure can be termed as ‘delicious comfort’. It has to feel uncomfortable so as to cause better change, but the point is to apply just the right amount of pressure you can handle without bracing, retracting, or defending against the pressure.
5 Ways to Strengthen Your Feet
You might not be in a position to do these each night, but you can definitely do some immediately. Your feet became weak through a gradual process so it will take consistency to make them strong again.
Get Rid of Your Shoes
One way to strengthen your feet is to get them out of your shoes as frequently as you can. Start gradually at first so that your feet do not become too sore. This can be as easy as walking barefoot when you are indoors.
With your feet bare, try standing or walking propped up on the balls of your feet. You will notice that this makes balancing difficult. If this is the case, try doing heel raises as repetitions – raising up and descending down- while holding something like a door frame for support.
As your feet become stronger, you can increase the duration and become more active. For instance, you can try jumping or running barefoot. Do this gradually and take it easy. Eventually, your feet will become stronger and more stable.
Run In the Beach
Not everyone will have access to a beach, but running in the sand improves the feet’s strength and flexibility. If you cannot access a beach, try walking or running barefoot on grass or any soft surface when the weather is warm. A soft surface like grass yields to your weight and as a result assists with joint articulation within your feet. This also enhances range of motion and strength.
Walking On a Hard Surface Such As Rocks
Walking on rocks such as those used in landscaping might sound bizarre. However, standing and shifting your weight on these smooth rocks will have great results on your feet and body.
The changing and shifting surface of these rocks will stimulate all the proprioceptive nerves that are present under the feet. These nerves are many and they are connected to the lower back. Sadly, these nerves are never activated in many people. This explains why more than 80% people experience serious back pains.
Roll Out the Lateral, Transverse, and Medial Arches
You might not be aware of the fact that the foot has three arches: the lateral (outside) arch, the transverse (center) arch, and the medial arch. These three arches work in unison to spring load your feet. They enhance power, strength, and balance when are functioning in the right manner. You should roll out your arches in the right order in order to avoid any risks.
Lateral arch: this is the body’s first floor foundation. It is connected to the calcaneus (heel bone).
Transverse arch: this is the second arch that should be rolled out gently. It is found behind the ball of foot. Focus on rolling out from the ball of your foot to the heel and not the other way around. This reduces the slack of the fascia instead of increasing it. However, you can roll it out the way but you should apply more pressure during the ball to heel direction than in the hell to ball one.
Medial arch: this one rests atop your lateral arch. This arch is rolled out third for a good reason. Rolling out the medial arch before the lateral arch is like building your body structure form the second floor up.
You are more likely to feel pain in the transverse arch (getting closer to the heel) so take care not to put too much pressure on this area.
Make Use of Boards, Bands, and Balance Trainers
You can strengthen, stretch, and coordinate your feet using boards, bands, and balance trainers. Use bands to flex and extend your feet while seated perform calf raises on a slant board, and perform squats, running in place, or weight shifts using a BOSU ball.
Add these tips to your workout routine in order to build a stronger, balanced, and powerful foundation.
I am the Daniel, a Toronto-based fitness coach and yoga instructor. I’ve been helping my clients improve their health and set up their home gyms for over a decade. It is important to strengthen ones feet because finding balance in various exercise forms without it is close to impossible. I teach people how to achieve perfect form with bodyweight exercise as well as how to select the most reliable rowers for fitness.