HAPPY FEET WITH PILATES

Oonagh McDevitt March 2019

It’s a fact….if you’ve got a problem at one end of your body, sooner or later, it’s going to affect the other because everything is connected.

Addressing our feet can bring huge relief. Stretching and strengthening exercises for your feet could help reduce pain and injuries in your feet and maybe in the rest of your body too. As Pilates exercises are done barefoot or in socks, the feet have a chance to work and develop the subtle muscles that help support the arches. 

Exercises for your feet:

  • Stretch toes – individually – pull them away from you and curl them downwards
  • Put small towel under feet and use toes to pull the towel towards you – and then push away from you
  • Stand shoulder width apart, slowly move onto balls of feet, bend knees – keep foot tracking in neutral, stand tall while lowering heel.
  • In kneeling position, put toes and knees together – sit back onto ankles – aim to increase angle of big toe
  • Stand on foamroller – hold onto wall – find centre of balance – requires whole foot to work – strengthens whole foot particularly subtle muscles on foot – aim to lift arches
  • Ankle Circles - Slowly circle the entire foot from the ankle in a full range of motion. Articulate through each of the toes as you move through your circle. Point the foot (reach toes away from you – feel the arches of feet being activated) and flex the foot (bring toes towards your nose – feel stretching of foot and calf)
  • Toe Stretches - with Pedicure Pads /kitchen paper weaved between the toes) – this helps to stretch the toe and arch muscles. Start by using the pads to stretch the toes apart when you’re seated. Progress to wearing them around the house while you’re walking barefoot to cue the toes to spread and stretch. Depending on your feet, you might do this 2-3 times a week, or daily.

Help your aching feet get back to happy feet. Don’t stop searching until you’ve found the best solution for you. As always listen to your body. Stop when you need to. Seek advice if unsure.