Here are some simple effective exercises for your ankles, feet and toes.
Look after your feet by soaking, wriggling and massaging them regularly and they’ll be ready to be worked and stretched. Your posture will thanks you for it!
Do you know how many bones are there in the feet?
There are 26 bones in each foot and together they each play a role in your balance, support and weight bearing as well as working rhythmically when walking and going about our daily activities.
We’re going to start our feet exercises with your ankles.
Sit comfortably and lift one foot off the floor. Slowly circle your foot around from your ankle about 10 times in each direction, enjoy the movement and feel the lower leg muscles working. Repeat with the other foot.
Now stretch your legs out in front of you and pull your toes towards you, spreading out your toes and send your heels away. Move the other way now making the front of your feet longer, pointing your toes and stretching out the front of your shins. Make your feet work together then alternate, one foot pointing, the other flexing. Go slowly and feel your ankles moving, your calves working.
Finish by placing both feet evenly on the floor and take a few deep breaths. Your feet should now feel fabulous and any foot pain should be banished.
The multiple bones and joints of the feet give it flexibility and they form an arch to support your weight.Your feet must be stable and flexible to adjust to walking on uneven surfaces and provide propulsion and working your arches will keep them flexible, balanced and stable.
To work your arches sit on a chair in a good upright posture (check out how to sit correctly on our “iPilates in sitting” workout available from www.ipilates.co.uk).
Feel the weight rest evenly through both feet and look at the arch at the inner border of your feet, it varies from person to person.
Spread out your toes and press the tips of your toes into the floor then slowly drag them towards the pads of your toes (sometimes called the balls of your feet). Try not to let your toes bend too much and feel a lift underneath the soles of your feet.
Repeat approx 10 times and do up to 3 sets of 10 a day.
I call this my “phone exercise” as in I do this when ever I’m talking on the phone. Let us know when it suits to fit this into your day!
I hope your feet are starting to feel good.
The missing links now are toes and balance. We have some great standing balance exercises in our workouts to buy on the website www.ipilates.co.uk. At £5 each they’re amazing value for money and will guide you through the exercises with ease. Download one today and let us know how you get on.
Back to your toes. Our toes become scrunched up in our shoes and for good sound walking patterns and balance they need to be moved and stretched.
A fantastic Pilates teacher called Ramona Peoples ran a course at my studio in Wilmslow recently on exercising feet and legs. It was an inspiration. Ramona suggested bending and straightening your toes using your hands to guide the movement intially, sit in a comfortable position on a chair or the floor to do this. Then see if you can lift all your toes up off the floor to the pads of your toes and see if you can place your toes back on the floor one at a time, starting with your little toe, think of it like a toe wave, a toe mexican wave for the world cup! Change it round and after lifting your toes and spreading them out, place back on the floor big toe first through to your little toe. Put on some music you love and time it with the beat, above all enjoy your feet.