(By Beatrice Chan) Whether we’re walking or running, our feet work hard to get us from one place to another. Here are exercises to help strengthen the feet …
Exercises for your feet
We often take them for granted, but our feet are so important. When it comes to walking, running and jumping, they work like shock absorbers and help our legs move. The stronger the feet, the faster and more powerful our movements become.
If you want to improve your pace, whether you’re a brisk walker or a runner, start by strengthening your feet. Here are three exercises that help:
1. Calf raises
Standing barefoot with your feet hip distance apart, slowly raise your heels. Ensure that as you lift, you maintain the tops of your feet, your ankles and calves in a straight line. Then, slowly lower your heels. Do this for about 30 seconds. If you find it hard to keep your balance, hold onto the back of chair.
2. Toe and heels walking
Barefoot, with your feet hip distance apart and your knees slightly bent, raise your heels off the floor and take 50 steps walking on your toes. Alternate by walking back on your heels. This exercise strengthens your calf muscles and foot extensors. It also stretches the bottoms of your feet and your toe extensors.
3. Barefoot squat jumps
On soft grass or a carpet, stand barefoot with your feet hip distance apart. Sit back into a squat, as though you are sitting down on an invisible chair. Keep your knees in line with your ankles and your back straight. Once you are in the sitting position, push yourself up, using the power from your feet, into a jump. Aim to land softly and do three sets of 20. This exercise is great for the calves and also for strengthening your feet.