The strength of your feet affects a lot of things—your ankles, hips, lower back, abs, posture, walking, and even the space in your chest where your lungs live. This week, Get-Fit Guy gives you 5 quick and practical tips on how you can get stronger feet.
Tip #3: Strengthen Your Feet
There are oodles of ways to get stronger feet, but my favorite method is quite simple and straightforward.
Stand on one leg at every opportunity you get. This includes when you’re at your standing workstation (you are using one of those now, right?), brushing your teeth, cooking a meal, and even doing specific exercises at the gym, such as an overhead press.
Eventually, progress to standing on uneven surfaces on one leg, such as on a half-foam roller (it looks like this), a scrunched up towel, a pillow, or a dense foam mat that you can place next to a standing desk (here’s a video example of my own personal workstation).
Check out my episode How to Get Stronger Feet for more specific exercises for strengthening your feet.
Tip #4: Roll Your Feet
I keep a golf ball under my desk and I roll it around in circles under each foot at random intervals during the day. A small ball, like a golf ball, works much better than a foam roller, tennis ball, lacrosse ball, or other similar objects.
In a pinch, when I happen to be sitting for long periods of time, such as on an airplane or in a car, I’ll occasionally slip off my shoes and give myself a quick 5 minute foot massage. I knead the bottom of my feet, interlace my toes with my hand, and press up against the balls of my feet to stretch the calves. In other words, be your own foot masseuse!
Tip #5: Get Some Minimalist Shoes
Here are some websites where you can find information on minimalist footwear (yours truly uses both Vivobarefoot and Skoras for sports and casual, and Earthrunners for sandals):
Please be aware that minimalist shoes often fit a bit differently than conventional shoes, so be prepared to make some adjustments in your sizing. Also (as I discuss in my episode The 411 on Barefoot Running), make a slow gradual transition to minimalist footwear so that you don’t get muscular injuries or stress fractures.
Do you have more questions about how to get stronger feet or transition to minimalist footwear? Then head over to Facebook.com/GetFitGuy and join the conversation there!