How to Get Strong & Graceful Feet – Part 1

How to Get Strong & Graceful Feet

Your feet have 1/4 of the number of bones in your body and when your feet are out of alignment, so is your body. (Source)

We’ll be looking at how to cure or prevent foot ailments so that your feet can become as strong and graceful as they can.

Most pianists spend lots of time pressing the piano’s pedals, leading to different problems along the way.

If you only ever use one pedal with one foot, then you’re imbalancing the muscles in your feet, essentially skewing your body’s balance.

In this post, we’re going to focus on strengthening the smaller muscles in your feet with small, easy exercises that you can incorporate into your life, whether you’re warming up for piano or waiting in line at Starbucks.

These warm ups and exercises help the different muscles in your feet to work together for stronger and more nimble movements; I’ve collected these warm ups and exercises over the years and I can personally vouch for them.

Please Note: You’re welcome to use these images elsewhere as long as you credit me by linking back to Artiden.

Toe Taps

Toe Taps Exercise

My friend once told me that her favourite form of dance is tapdancing– because she can do it anywhere and everywhere, all the time, even without tapshoes.

Plus, tapdancers enjoy the longest careers in dance of all because of the low strain on the knees and legs while tapdancing.

You don’t have to dance to have strong and graceful feet; just tap them.

  1. Keeping your heel on the ground, lift the ball of your foot as high as you can.
  2. Touch the ball of your foot to the ground, but don’t release your muscles completely.
  3. Repeat for 15 – 30 seconds on each foot, standing or sitting.

 Duck Walks

Duck Walks

I call these duck walks because the flexed feet remind me of ducks, but you can also call these heel walks.

  1. Walk on the heels of your feet with your toes pointing straight ahead, lifting the balls of your feet off the ground as high as possible. Your legs should be more or less straight.
  2. Walk 10 – 20 metres each: with your toes pointing straight ahead, pointing outwards, then pointing inwards.
  3. Relax for a few moments.
  4. Stand on the balls of your feet, lifting your heels up as high as possible.
  5. Walk 10 – 20 metres each: with your toes pointing straight ahead, pointing outwards, then pointing inwards.
  6. Release.
  • Squeeze your butt, thighs, and abs for a challenge.
  • Do not lock your knees. (Locking your knees can cause a great deal of damage to your joints, especially during exercise.)

Duck walks improve your balance and engage the muscles in your legs. As a bonus, these exercises prevent shin splints.

 Towel Scrunching

Towel Scrunching Exercise

I first learned this exercise as a warmup in ballet class, but it’s a great strengthening exercise for the smaller muscles in the feet, especially in the arch.

  1. Sit, either on the ground or on a chair, with a towel under your feet.
  2. Scrunch your toes up to gather the towel towards you.
  3. Relax your feet to smooth out the towel.
  4. Repeat 8 – 10 times.

Demi-Pointe Push

Demi-Pointe Warm Up

This is my favourite exercise of all time– I do this almost everyday and it works wonders for cold or stiff feet.

  1. Start with your feet under your hips, toes pointing forward.
  2. Lift your heel while keeping the ball of your foot on the ground. Your weight should be distributed equally between your two feet.
  3. Extend your toes to push your foot off the ground, focusing on elongating your foot. Make sure you keep your hips level; hold onto a support if you need to.
  4. Return to position # 2.
  5. Return to standing flat on both feet (#1).
  6. Repeat 3 – 5 times on each side.
  • Also, try pointing your feet outwards.
  • This exercise also strengthens the muscles in your legs and improves your balance.

That’s it! Strong and graceful feet in minutes a day, getting healthy in the Olympic spirit. Let me know how this works out for you; remember to stretch the muscles you work so that your muscles stay strong and lean.

This post is part of the Tuning Your Health series. Part 2 is up!

Grace

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