Nobody is a stranger to the crushing aches that our feet suffer after a long day of walking, running, or standing. Whether it be sightseeing on holiday or spending the day on errands, we’ve all been there, done that. But what can you do to rid yourself of these pesky pains?
We’ve rounded up some expert opinions on exercises you can do to strengthen your feet.
Craig Perkins, founder and director of Yandara Yoga Institute and yoga health expert, recommends three exercises in particular.
Personal massage and reflexology
Massaging your own feet and using reflexology increases flexibility and circulation, reducing your soreness and muscle ache.
Simply use your hands to stretch your feet and hold each position for 3-5 breaths.
Floint and point
Flointing is the act of flexing your toes and spreading them out while extending the muscles of each of your toes. Floint your foot for 30 seconds, followed by pointing for another 30 seconds.
These simple exercises can be combined to ease tired and sore feet, and the best part is, it’ll take just a few minutes of your time! There are also slightly more intensive activities that you can incorporate into your workout routine at the gym. Matt Ferguson, president and CEO of Progressive Health Innovations Inc., suggests these simple additions.
If you’re already doing squats, lunges, or other lower body weight-bearing exercises, do them barefoot! You’ll be surprised how challenging and strengthening this is without the artificial support of your shoes.
These are side-to-side lunges. Most people are incredibly weak laterally because most of our daily activities involve walking or running forward.
Wobble board exercise
Use a wobble board to strengthen your feet. This is an unbalanced board resting on a surface that isn’t flat, so you have to use your balance and foot strength to keep upright!
Standing and Walking Technique
Finally, yoga teacher Noah Volz tells us the three most useful techniques he has discovered to be the most useful in strengthening feet through simply standing and walking.
Curl your toes as if you were trying to pull the front of your shoe to the back of your shoe. This can strengthen your arch.
Also allow your weight to ground into the front of your heel. By gently pressing the front of the heel into the earth, your arches will activate upwards.
Right before your foot lands, flick your toes slightly and then allow your foot to land. This can help to relax the feet so that underutilized muscles can get stronger.