Whether you enjoy yoga, powerlifting, running, or sport, any activity could benefit from small yet significant strength gains in your feet and ankles. Why is this? Your feet are the place that connects you to the earth! All the strength and power in your hips, thighs, and calves that you work on in the gym or through your sport is wonderful! Let's continue that chain of strength into the ground with some of these simple desk exercises!
What you’ll need for these exercises is your desk (of course), a t-shirt or small towel, and some small bands. Bonus exercise at the end will require some Toe Spacers.
1. Foot Massage with Small Ball (3-5min each foot)
Warm up your strengthening with a small ball massage for your feet! While sitting at your desk, take a small ball and place it under your foot, rolling it around and finding good sensitive knots to target. While you’re working at your desk, massage each foot until it feels more supple. Once supple, move onto the next exercise.
2. Towel or T-Shirt Crawls (1-5min each foot)
Take your small towel or t-shirt and splay your toes, grab the cloth, then pull it towards you. Then push it left, right, all over! Imagine your feet are doing little crunches, working on its “core” to improve its arch.
3. Banded Inversion and Eversion (1-3min for Inversion and Eversion for each foot)
Wrap your band around the chair or desk and put your foot inside. From there bring your foot outwards to strengthen the outside of your foot (this movement is called Eversion). Do this for a few sets, each set until tired!
Take that same band and now let's go inwards (Inversion!) just like in the image below. Same idea, do a few sets, each to fatigue.
4. BONUS: Toe Spacer Cooldown (10-30min)
Once you’ve done your massage and two strengthening exercises, treat your toes! Get a toe-spacer like this one for each of your feet and wear them for about 30min.
Give this series a try 1x/day for 2 weeks and I promise your feet will thank you!
Thanks for reading,
Dr. Marcus Rein PT DPT
Dr. Danny and staff's views on performance improvement, injury prevention, and sometimes other random thoughts.