Toe and Foot Strengthening Exercises
We’ve all heard the phrase “it starts from the ground up." This is even more true when it comes to the human body and it all begins at your feet.
When’s the last time you did mobility for toes and feet??? Probably never, am I right?
Today we’re going to show these unsung heroes some love with mobility training that will strengthen them and get them to move better. Regardless of if your feet and toes are in pain or not, this is a must watch.
WHY TOE & FOOT MOBILITY IS IMPORTANT
If you’re a runner, hiker, or even someone who just enjoys long walks, you need to train your feet, specifically your toes.
Unfortunately, most humans wear these tiny little foot coffins called shoes, that over time inhibit our toes and feet from moving properly. Then one day, you decide to go do your favorite activity and your toes and feet start to ache, or even worse, something really bad happens like a tear or sprain.
SYMPTOMS OF POOR TOE & FOOT MOBILITY
Lack of function in your feet can cause problems like plantar fasciitis, tendonitis, arch pain, and turf toe. Not only that, it can have a trickle up effect, causing aches, pains, and tightness in the calves, knees, hips, and even the lower back.
Fortunately, strengthening your feet can help with this.
HOW TO STRENGTHEN YOUR FEET
Strong feet start with the toes. Makes sense right? Your toe function dictates what your foot does like a steering wheel of a car. If they can’t flex, extend or move individually, the tissue of your feet will become weak.
For those reasons, we’re going to work on the basics of toe training by first, getting them to move independently of each other, (yes this is doable). We'll do this with a mobility exercise called Toe CARs. The goal is to divorce your big toe from the other little piggies. Sounds easy, but I assure you it’s not. Think of this exercise as building the mind body connection to your little digits.
Secondly we’ll build better tissue quality in the muscles that flex your toes (think pulling your toes underneath your foot) and those that extend (think bringing your toes upward). We'll do this by utilizing a system called PAILs and RAILs, which is a fancy way of saying isometrics at your end range of motion, to increase the tissue quality that moves the big toe. Remember, poor tissue quality is the reason why people feel aches, pains, and tightness. Build better tissue quality and just about everything gets better.
By the end of this coaching, you’ll have the tools to get your toes and feet moving in the right direction.
The moral of the story here is don’t forget your toes! As you felt, there’s way more movement potential with these and the stronger they are, the stronger your feet…and the entire body will be.
WHAT TO DO NEXT
If you want even mo re mobility goodness, check out my 3 must have mobility moves in the link below. It includes a hip exercise that is my all time favorite and I know you’ll love it too. It’s completely free, so check it out.
ABOUT COACH MATT PIPPIN
Matt is a Strength and Mobility Coach with over 15 years experience in his field and has coached over a thousand professional, collegiate and everyday athletes with the goal to help them move, feel and perform at their highest level. He's incredibly passionate about bringing simple and effective online mobility training programs to everyone who wants to take control of their self care and make lasting change. CLICK HERE to learn more.
NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Level 3: Fascial Stretch Specialist
Level 1: Institute of Motion Health Coach
Certified FRC Mobility Specialist (FRCms)
Level 1 Kinstretch Instructor
Weck Method Qualified