Like the rest of your body, the joints of your feet need to be supported by strong, flexible muscles. This is especially so, if you have a foot problem like bunions.
To avoid injuries and move well, you need strong ‘core’ stability. However, many people don’t realise that a strong ‘core’ is of limited benefit, without a strong foundation.
Strong feet and toes are the foundation for a smooth and efficient gait, providing a stable and well-balanced base for all movements. Our small foot muscles support the arch, keep our toes straight and help us to maintain our balance.
Here are 3 simple foot exercises that you can do every day to help improve the core strength of your feet and minimise the risk of bunions worsening over time:
- Short Foot Exercise (or Metatarsal Doming)
- Keep your foot flat on the floor, slide the ball of your foot toward your heel, shortening the foot, lifting through the arch, keeping your toes straight.
- Hold for 3 seconds and relax. Try to complete 2 sets of 10 holds.
- Toe Swapping
- Push the big toe into the floor, while simultaneously lifting up the other 4 toes – hold for 3 seconds;
- Swap - push the 4 toes down into the floor, while lifting up the big toe – hold for 3 seconds;
- Try to complete 2 sets of 10 holds.
- Calf Stretch
- Lean against a wall with your hands, keep your back knee straight, front knee bent. Push your back heel into the floor, while you lean into the wall.
- Hold for 30 seconds, then relax. Repeating twice on each leg.
If your feet move well, you move well!