5 Moves you MUST be doing with your feet!
Watch the video after you read the article 🙂
Our feet, they carry us everywhere, yet we constantly neglect them and their need for space, movement and balance. Think about it, you go to “workout” and what do you do-shove them in over padded tight shoes. Off to yoga, other than your instructor telling you to “ground your foot” or “spread your toes” before Tree, those poor little ole feet are simply atrophied body parts clumping around with you. Now if you are one of the many who also suffer from bunions, hammer toe, plantar fasciitis, pronation and supination issues, wise up my friend there is way more you could be doing to help your cause. And foot problems are just the tip of the iceberg, what about your hips, back and shoulder issues, did you know that your little tootsies could be to blame.
Here are five of my favorite foot moves to get you walking in the right direction.
- Rolling out your feet. I love my acuball, but if you don’t own one, grab a small ball to get that foot a moving! Braking up tight, sticky fascia is step one to release your feet, but be ready this will surely open up a can of worms on the rest of your body. Think: everything is connected! Your feet have been in casts (shoes) most of your life (sadly from an early age) so to truly wake them up is going to require you to take the shoes off and slowly step away.
- Negative heel stretch. The soul of the lower leg is the soleus muscle and he surely needs some love and attention. This muscle is lying flat to the lower leg under the gastrocnemius (aka the calf). When this pesky overlooked muscle is tight he can cause your dreaded plantar fasciitis to flair, which leads you to those over supported shoes that are only masking the pain. Hold this stretch for a minute (more than once, just in case you were wondering) to help bring relief to that irritated plantar tendon and lower leg muscle. With shoes on all day and most with some sort of heel (yes even your fancy $120 state of the art cross trainers are leaving you runway ready) this negative heel stretch is helping you undo all that pressure to the ball of the foot and shortening of the lower leg muscles.
- Functional calf release. One of my staple moves I teach in my classes, anyone with legs needs to be doing this release. Paired with the above and you got yourself a set of heavy hitters sure to knock the tightness right out of your feet! With a modest stride and a simple movement of bending and extending the back leg (keeping the heel down) will help release the feet with an added bonus of hamstring, hip and back relief. Don’t believe me-try it for yourself.
- Ankle roll. I never realized how tight and sore my ankles were until I started to stretch them. Using a strap or neck tie, rotate the outer edge of the foot towards the sky and lengthen through the outer leg. Again our casts-aka shoes we wear all day long leave us high and dry with immobile feet, stiff ankles and an aching upper body with nowhere to turn. If you have feet then this one is for you.
- Toe spread. Between our toes are muscles, and like you would abduct your leg (move away from the body/mid-line) your toes do to. Our feet become stiff just like any other area of the body when not used to the fullest the way it was designed to. With lack of use and high pressure from heeled shoes all day long our little toes become stiff and quite frankly unusable. So take a seat and let your fingers and toes snuggle up together and get a moving. Beware that if your feet rarely receive TLC like this start small, instead of your fingers, try pencils then graduate to markers and then to your fingers, or maybe just a few. A little goes a long way.
So now those aching feet of yours no longer have an excuse to not feel amazing, and as for the rest of the body, it all starts from the ground up.
Namaste to all my foot friendly peeps!
NOW CHECK THE VIDEO FOR DETAILS ON EACH OF MY FIVE FOOT MOVES!