In previous posts, we’ve discussed the benefits of walking barefoot (“earthing”) and barefoot running. Ditching shoes or wearing minimalist footwear when jogging or walking have proven health benefits and increasing numbers of people are hopping on the barefoot bandwagon. But going barefoot can also help you when exercising in other ways. A barefoot workout can help build healthy feet, improve your balance, and add to your sense of well-being.
The primary way a barefoot workout can be beneficial is that it takes away the constraints and crutches that high-tech, constrictive, and heavily cushioned athletic shoes provide.
Why You Need to Strengthen Your Feet
When you wear shoes, they limit the range of motion of your feet. When you limit the range of motion in any part of the body for long periods of time, you can lose that range of motion and become less flexible and more prone to injury. Your feet can also come to be dependent on the protection and cushioning shoes provide and become weaker as a result. Stronger feet are less vulnerable to injuries such as stress fractures or painful foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, and strong fee also can create a healthier foundation for the rest of your body.
How to Strengthen Your Feet With a Barefoot Workout
The folks at Whole Life Challenge have put together a great barefoot workout which can improve your range of motion, improve your balance, and make your feet stronger and healthier:
- Start by rocking from toes to heels. Start with a small movement, then make it big, going as far forward and as far back as you can. Hold onto something for balance if you need to but strive to get to a point where you rock while freestanding. Do that a dozen times.
- Then, start rocking from the outside of your feet to the inside of your feet. It may feel awkward and may not even feel like you are creating much movement at all. Do that a dozen times.
- Now, spread a towel, t-shirt, or some sort of soft cloth lengthwise in front of you. Grab onto it with your toes and, only using your toes, pull it toward you. Do this with each foot.
- Next, kneel down so your butt rests on your heels. Switch between the underside of your toes pressed to the ground and the tops of your toes pressed to the ground. If this position is painful for your knees or hips, you can place a pillow or a folded blanket between your butt and ankles. Start by spending twenty seconds in each of these positions, and slowly work up until you can spend a full minute in each.
- Lastly, grab a lacrosse ball, tennis ball, golf ball, or whatever you have handy. While standing, place the ball under your foot and slowly roll the ball from side to side, starting at the base of the toes and going to the heel. Once you’ve done that, roll from heel to toe until you’ve hit every surface of your sole.
Call JAWS podiatry Today to Schedule an Appointment
At JAWS podiatry in Hollywood, Florida, we are all about healthy feet. By keeping your feet strong, you reduce the chances of foot or ankle injury. But even the healthiest feet can wind up getting hurt. When that happens, our team of dedicated foot and ankle specialists are here to help with the most advanced and non-invasive techniques that can reduce your foot and ankle pain and speed recovery. Please call us today at (954) 922-7333 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.