Feet should be your best friends. So why do we not take as much care of our tootsies as the rest of our bodies? Yes, we primp and polish our feet, but do we really look after them and what can your feet tell you about the rest of your body?
Anatomy of your feet
Did you know that each foot has 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments? That means they’re really complex pieces of kit and require attention and respect. The skeletal structure is similar to that of the hand but because it’s weight-bearing it’s strong yet less movable.
The foot begins at the lower end of the tibia and fibula, the two bones of the lower leg. At the base of those, a grouping of bones form the tarsals, which make up the ankle and upper portion of the foot. So when we talk about exercises for the feet we also have to consider exercises for the ankle.
What do your feet do?
Your feet have 2 main functions- weight-bearing and propulsion and you should think of them as the foundation of your body. Having strong feet is really important, and this can be encouraged by performing proper foot exercises. However, your feet should also be flexible to help with balance. This is why, in your FLexercise classes, your teacher will encourage you to work barefoot where possible.
How do you exercise your feet?
One of the best ways is to walk. The movement of walking works right through the foot and ankle but only if you walk correctly. Have a quick read of this article ….. can you hear your teacher saying all of these things in class? https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-walk
Pre Covid we always did walking work in class, paying particular attention to the heel strike. Have a quick look back at the anatomy of the foot. The calcaneus (heel bone) is big and dense for a reason – it is designed to take the weight as you strike the floor. Then, as you roll through the foot to propel you to the next step, all the joints, muscles and tendons will be worked correctly. Remember, it’s only gymnasts and ballet dancers who strike on the front of the foot and that is for aesthetic reasons only!!!
What else can you do to exercise your tootsies?
A couple of years ago we wrote 2 articles on barefoot exercise, so thought they were worth revisiting here. (no point in reinventing the wheel is there?)
You can also join Sarah for a chat about feet on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/flexerciseuk/videos/148586297311629/?notif_id=1627894832264333¬if_t=page_post_reaction&ref=notif
So, put your best foot forward and give your tootsies the care they deserve