4 exercises for strong foot muscles

Would you have known

In our life we ​​cover 130,000 kilometers or 200 million steps.

With it we circle the earth three times.

However, the number of steps and the distance covered will be many times higher for you.

After all, as a runner you are on your feet much longer and more often.

This statistic sounds impressive.

At the same time, it also shows how important proper foot care is.

This is especially true for runners.

Because our feet develop backwards because they are no longer challenged by insoles, sneakers and running shoes.

You no longer have to do any work.

Stunted foot muscles are often the cause of foot malpositions.

Splayfeet, flat and flat feet have long since become a widespread disease in the western world.

For foot health, it would be best if you refrain from wearing shoes.

However, shoes of all kinds are good form.

In the business world, the combination of suit and sneakers is no longer condemned quite so severely.

However, if you come to work completely without shoes, your colleagues will give you critical looks.

The same applies, of course, to everyday life.

From disbelief to pity to malice – walking barefoot has a negative reputation.

Very few people know about the relevance of the human foundation.

Because with 27 joints, 26 bones, 32 muscles and tendons, 107 ligaments and a total of 1,700 nerve endings, our feet are a masterpiece of nature.

They carry us for miles and endure the monotony and enormous stress of running.

Even the slightest irritation or a hairline crack can force you to take a month-long break.

This is exactly why it is so important to pay more attention to your feet during weight training.


Building muscle in the foot is a tedious process.

First you have to learn again to control the stunted muscles in order to be able to train them accordingly.

You can find out which foot exercises are best for runners in this article.

Natural running: trend or training method?

We start wearing shoes as a child.

The tiny sneakers look particularly cute on little kids.

However, such footwear is counterproductive at a young age.

The feet are supported, guided, cushioned and protected from bumps or sharp objects.

While this is well-intentioned, it can have devastating effects on the entire musculoskeletal system and encourage the development of postural errors.

Natural forms of movement are forgotten and important muscles are no longer activated.

That is why a countertrend developed a few years ago.

The so-called natural running – often also referred to as barefoot running – should again demand more of the feet in everyday life and during sport.

But because shoes are in keeping with the zeitgeist, the sports industry has developed minimalist models.

Less shoe, more you.

So less shoe, more body work.

The idea behind the so-called barefoot shoes is simple.

Without explosions, cushioning and stabilizing elements, your foot has to work a lot more.

In addition, you train your balance and strengthen your foot and calf muscles.

The following applies: the stronger the feet, the better the ankle joints are supported.

In addition, barefoot or minimal shoes usually have a wide forefoot last.

Since the toes are not pressed together by the shoe, this creates a comfortable, barefoot-like feeling.

Due to the fact that these shoes do not detonate, you not only have more direct contact with the ground, but also a higher level of sensory feedback.

This way you perceive your posture and your movement more intensely.

But running barefoot not only strengthens the entire locomotor muscles.

It also improves your running style at the same time.

Because without cushioning, you will no longer walk over your rear foot.

Instead, you land more naturally with your foot, i.e. more with your midfoot or forefoot.

Healthy and strong feet reduce the risk of injury, improve the running style and can even correct misalignments to a certain extent.

They really exist: athletes who run a marathon barefoot themselves. However, this requires years of training of the foot muscles

4 strengthening exercises for stable feet

When it comes to stabilization and strength training, runners are mostly unteachable.

Either the complaints must be so great or the weather just too bad.

Read more: Running in the rain: 4 tips for jogging in bad weather

Muscle training is one of the things that endurance athletes only reluctantly and, above all, only sporadically.

Strong locomotor muscles are so important for your own running performance.

Because the stronger the muscles, the more power and stability you have when running.

This also applies to your feet, of course.

The stronger the muscles, the easier it is for you to convert the impact energy into repulsion energy.

So you tire later and of course you can run longer.

Who does not want that?

You should therefore regularly integrate the following exercises into your strength training.

Exercise 1: Claw a towel

In this exercise, you will use your foot to wrinkle a towel.

To do this, place the cloth on a smooth floor, place your foot on it and then make gripping movements with your toes.

You can do the exercise while standing or sitting.

However, the level of difficulty is increased when standing.

Instead of creasing the towel, you can grab it and pick it up.

Do the exercise for at least 30 seconds.

Repetitions: 15

Sentences: 3

Exercise 2: toe stand

The so-called calf or heel lift is the ideal training for the lower leg muscles.

Because lifting your heels strengthens both your calves and your feet.

In addition, the implementation is very easy!

Put both feet parallel.

Now stand on your toes for a short time, hold this position for a few seconds and then lower your feet again.

You can make the exercise more difficult by lifting your heels from the one-legged stance.

Repetitions: 15

Sentences: 3

Exercise 3: one-leg jumps

Stand on your right leg.

Now you lift your left knee waist-high.

Now jump up, forward, backward, and then to the left and right.

Make sure to perform the jumps on a non-slip surface.

Repetitions: 15 jumps per leg

Sentences: 3

Exercise 4: relax your feet

An important tendon runs under your foot.

The plantar tendon is located between the ball of the foot and the heel on the sole of the foot.

It stabilizes the longitudinal arch of the foot and enables the toes to be bent.

Excessive running training can quickly inflame the tendon.

Then there is a risk of painful plantar fasciitis.

A so-called heel spur can even develop.

Therefore, you should (have) massage your feet regularly.

You should first stroke across your plantar tendon with both thumbs.

This breaks up the structure of the tendon.

The subsequent massage then has a much greater effect.

Massage your feet for 3-5 minutes.

Alternatively, you can treat the soles of your feet with the Blackroll.

Read more: Fascia training 8 simple exercises for slack muscles

Be patient

As a runner, it is best to start foot training straight away.

However, it looks different with running in barefoot shoes.

It would be criminal to train with minimal shoes from now on.

Your foot muscles are far from ready for such a load.

Better to start with short walks.

This way you get used to the new feeling of running without overloading your ligaments and tendons.

Give your feet time to get used to the new exertion.

Ideally, you should first run on soft surfaces such as sand, lawn or forest floor.

If running on hard asphalt cannot be avoided, be sure to reduce your circumference.

Make sure you regenerate properly after walking barefoot.

At the beginning you should train for a maximum of ten minutes.

That may not sound like much, but it is efficient.

Your calves and Achilles tendons will also thank you for it.

If you are in the middle of structured training for a competition, switching to barefoot running is not recommended.

You should only wear your minimal shoes for the ABCs of running or for CoolDown.

Incidentally, proper foot care naturally also plays an important role.

Regular application of lotion not only protects against painful blisters.

It also makes your feet more resilient.

After all, you want to keep walking.

Pain free.

And miles.

Read more: Warm-up exercises for runners: That’s how important WarmUp & CoolDown are