Even though the foot muscles aren’t as striking as other muscles in the human body, strengthening them should be even more important for a runner than having powerful biceps.
Nevertheless, most runners are surprised to hear about the existence of foot muscles and few do anything to strengthen and take care of them.
Just as with any other muscle, a runner’s foot muscles need to be trained so that they don’t atrophy and are able to achieve their potential. The development of a runner’s foot muscles, may improve balance and help prevent injuries.
Also, having strong foot muscles is important for athletes whose feet endure much tension, such as runners or ballet dancers.
Exercises to strengthen the foot muscles
Bearing these benefits in mind, we present to you four exercises to strengthen the foot muscles.
In order to do these exercises, you’ll only need some elements which are very easy to acquire, so you have no excuse not to do them:
-a chair (optional- you can either do them standing up or sitting down).
– a pencil.
– a towel.
1.- Static Flexion of the toes
Without any type of footwear and sitting on a chair, place both feet on the floor and push your toes against the floor without moving your ankles. Keep the pressure for 2 to 3 seconds, relax and push for 2 to 3 seconds once more. (3 series of 10 reps).
2.- Crumple up the towel
Start sitting down barefoot with your feet over the towel. Pull the towel bit by bit with your toes bringing it closer to yourself. Once you reach the end of the towel, crumple it up in the opposite direction. Do 2 reps with each foot.
3.- Pick up the pencil
Sitting barefoot with your feet on the ground, place the pencil on the floor in front of you and lift it with your right foot. Maintain this position for 3 seconds. Return the pencil to the floor. Repeat 10 times with each foot, 2 reps per foot.
4.- Walk on your toes
Walk on tiptoes to strengthen the foot muscles, the ankles and the calves. Stand with your feet apart and start walking on tiptoes for 15 seconds. Rest for 15 seconds and repeat the exercise 4 times.
Now that you know how to strengthen your foot muscles do not forget to repeat these exercises 2/3 times a week.