Big Toe Extension Exercises To Try

Posted on October 28th, 2021 to Barefoot Training

Why is big toe extension important?

Big toe extension, also referred to as great toe extension, is important because it directly correlates to your ability to walk without negatively impacting other joints and tendons in your feet, legs, and knees. In order to run effectively, you need at least 45-55 degrees of great toe extension. The normal level of big toe extension for humans is about 70 degrees. A lot of issues with our gait stems from improper big toe extension.

Prescription: The Big Toe Fix

Aim to add one of the below exercises into your daily routine or before your workout.

What is gait?

Gait is simply a term used to describe the way in which someone walks.

What are we attempting to achieve by improving big toe mobility?

A greater range of motion (ROM) of the Metatarsophalangeal (MTP – also known as the phalangeal joint). Ideally, you want to be in the 65-75 degree range, 100 degrees ROM of the MTP would be awesome.

The Core:

The most safe and effective exercises prevent the spine from extending, which prevents excess movement (anti-extension). But when it comes to your foot health you should be doing the opposite: big toe extension.

Insight:

There is no way around it, you NEED your big toe to move well. By well, we are looking to achieve 60 to 100 degrees of great toe extension. Most people do not have enough range of motion in their big toes and this is likely a result of wearing shoes for a majority of our human lives. if you don’t use it you lose it and shoes make our feet lazy!

When extension in the big toe is limited, your body looks for that missing range of motion from somewhere else like the knees and hips. Walking around barefoot will help your big toe learn to do everything it was meant to do; stabilize the arch, propel you forward, and absorb force. That being said, there are some big toe mobility drills and exercises that you should also be adding into your routine.

Mike

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