7 foot mobility exercises to help you move with ease

IImagine if you could see a supercup of all the places your feet have taken you: the sightseeing walks, the ordinary and extraordinary sights, all the times you’ve run (not walked) to kiss someone because you just can’t wait. Your feet do a lot for you. So if you’re looking for more ways to take care of them so they can get you from point A to point B for many years to come, foot mobility exercises are a great place to start.

The feet are responsible for a chain reaction throughout your body, according to dual-certified podiatrist Chanel J. Perkins, DPM. “The foot is known as a movable adaptor. It simply means that the foot makes the necessary adjustments to absorb shock and adapt to the terrain,” she says.

To keep you balanced as you step forward, the foot moves in two basic ways: supination (when weight moves outward from the foot) and pronation (when weight moves inward from the foot). Both patterns are critical to foot mobility and range of motion. “Our lives are made easier by foot mobility because it literally gives us freedom of movement by making the act of walking biomechanically possible,” says Dr. Perkins. “We run into several challenges if there is too little or too much mobility in the foot, so there has to be a balance.”

To keep your feet in tip-top shape, Dr. Perkins recommends including foot mobility exercises in your workout routine. less a few days a week. However, if you’re experiencing foot pain as we speak, it’s a good idea to see a podiatrist. You may need a pair of orthotics instead of just a mobility routine.

That said, we are ready to mobilize the feet. (Then, to new adventures.)

7 foot mobility exercises to add to your regular rotation

1. Tennis ball roller

Take a tennis ball and sit in a chair or on the side of your bed. Place your bare foot on the ball and slowly roll your foot over it. You can use your body weight to increase the pressure (if needed). “It would be a good idea to keep the ball next to the bed so you can do this massage in the morning before you get up and in the evening before you go to sleep,” says Dr. Perkins.

2. Tower Loops

Place a small towel on the floor and roll it up towards you using only your toes. If that sounds easy, you can increase the resistance by putting a weight (like a heavy book) on the end of the towel. “The motion should feel like you’re almost picking up the towel with your toes,” says Dr. Perkins. “Relax and repeat this exercise five times.”

3. Collecting marble

Here’s a fun one: Place 20 marbles on the floor and pick them up, one at a time, using only your toes and place them in a small bowl. Do this exercise until you have collected all 20 marbles.

4. Heel lift

Raise up on your toes and hold this position for five seconds. Repeat 10 times.

5. Calf stretch against the wall

Place your palms against a wall, with one leg forward and one leg back. Bend the front leg a little, while keeping the back leg fully extended. Keep leaning against the wall until you feel the stretch in the back of your calf. Hold the position for 30 to 45 seconds, then switch legs.

6. Negative calves

Stand on a step, heels apart from the edge, parallel to the floor below. Lift one leg off the step and slowly drop the other heel under the step. Try to take at least 10 seconds to lower it completely. Repeat twice with each foot.

7. Ankle range of motion exercise

Start standing. Pull your foot up as if trying to bring your toes towards your shin. Hold this position for 10 to 15 seconds and repeat three times with each foot. You can also use a resistance band or towel wrapped around the ball of your foot and pull it up with your hands while pushing your foot down, pointing your toes toward the floor.

Keep stretching with Nike Coach Traci Copeland:

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