I’ve started a new series where I’ll focus on a specific muscle group in the body each month. You’ll learn about why these muscles are important and gain tips and tricks for keeping them strong, loose and performing optimally. Today, let’s talk about foot intrinsics. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with foot pain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, or Achilles tendonitis, it may be time to incorporate some foot strengthening exercises into your routine.
What are foot intrinsics? These are all the small muscles in the feet that help stabilize the foot and arch, move the toes, and control pronation (flat arch position) and supination (high arch position). Having good strength and control of the foot intrinsic muscles is super important in staying active without foot pain.
One common question I get is “What are the best orthotic inserts?”
There is definitely a time and place for orthotics, such as if you have very flat feet or have responded well to orthotics in the past to reduce foot pain. Even if you use orthotics, it is a great idea to strengthen your foot muscles as well. Relying sole-ly (see what I did there?!) on orthotics to support your feet tells the foot intrinsic muscles that they don’t have to work so hard. It’s kind of like them being on a constant vacation- not so great when you have to walk barefoot or in less-supportive shoes. So try strengthening up your feet and create an “internal orthotic” with your muscles!
Wondering what the best foot intrinsic exercises are to help stave off foot pain? Toe yoga is one of my favorites! Check it out in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfYSEFwJMDA
Is there a muscle you want to learn more about? Comment below and I’ll be sure to queue it up!