Anything that can help you avoid pain and injury is a plus. Having stronger toes and feet gives you an edge to reduce your risk of an ankle injury, cut muscle soreness, and improve your general health.
Why Do Toe Exercises?
Keeping your toes flexible and strong gives you a better foundation for ankle and leg health. This is especially important for active people like runners; having strong toes and feet allows for a more efficient stride. It also helps your body manage the impact that occurs each time your feet meet the ground.
How to Make your Toes Stronger
There are many ways to make your toes stronger! Simply walking barefoot can help. For a more efficient way to train your toes, add stretching and strengthening exercises to your routine. Over time, you’ll increase your range of motion and build stronger feet. Doing toe exercises every other day can keep you flexible and strong.
Top Toe Strengthening Exercises
There are a number of exercises that can help you increase the power in your toes. A few to get you started:
- Toe extensions. Grasp all your toes from one foot in your hand and gently pull them back. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Toe splay. Sit in a straight-backed chair and rest your feet on the floor. Spread your toes as far apart as comfortably possible. Hold for five seconds.
- Toe curls. Sit in a straight-backed chair and lay a small towel on the floor in front of you. Grasp the towel with your toes and scrunch them to pull the towel toward you. Repeat five times on each foot.
How to Strengthen Big Toe
Your big toe is a big deal when it comes to taking impact evenly and maintaining balance. to strengthen this appendage, incorporate toe lifts into your routine.
Exercise: Toe Lifts
How to do it: Stand with your feet and toes splayed. Keep the rest of your toes flat while lifting your big toe. Hold for two seconds, then lower. Then, switch it up and keep your big toe on the ground while you lift toes two through five. Repeat with each foot 20 times.
How to Strengthen Pinkie Toe
Pinkie toes often get short shrift. Many shoes are overly constrictive, leading to pinkie toes that have very little strength. To correct this, do strengthening exercises that focus on each toe individually.
Exercise: Toe Resistance Training
How to do it: Gently hold a figure under your pinkie toe and push it up. Return the pressure with the toe, pushing down. Then, move your finger above the toe and push down while your toe pushes up. Ten repetitions with each toe will soon make a difference.
All of these exercises should be done barefoot to give you maximum mobility and body awareness. By adding these to your routine a few times a week, you will see a gradual improvement in your toe and foot strength. This, in turn, improves your body mechanics throughout. You’ll find that you experience less pain, less fatigue, and get better performance every time you go out.