Are you a runner who has flat feet? If so, then it might be a problem when it comes to running. While many flat footers out there are able to run many miles without much sweat, having flat feet definitely increases your chance of developing feet and joint problems later down the line, especially if you continue to run on them.
However, there are ways to strengthen your feet to counterbalance the negative effects from flat-footedness. In this article, we’ll show you how to strengthen flat feet, so that the next time you decide to go on a run, you won’t have to worry about developing foot problems.
Things you will need for this step-by-step tutorial:
You will be surprised to find out that you won’t actually need a lot of items for flat feet strengthening exercises. Even better, all of these items can be easily found in your home, so that you won’t have to spend tons of money on fancy equipment. Here are the items you will need:
• A towel: From a dishrag to a bath towel, any sort of cloth towel will do for exercises such as toe scrunching. Just make sure that you would be willing to place your feet on top of it!
• A can: Instead of throwing away that soft drink can right after you finish it, consider using it for your next flat-feet strengthening exercise. You can also find similar items such as bottles or plastic cups. As long as it’s an object that your feet can grip on to, then it will work perfectly.
• Stairs: If you live in a house with stairs, then you can use these for your toe-arch exercises. However, if you don’t have stairs to use, there’s no reason to worry: you can also use the sidewalk curb outside or make your own elevated surface with a pile of thick books to stand up on.
Step-by-step tutorial for strengthening flat feet
With these three items, you can do a variety of different flat-feet strengthening exercises to build your arches. Here are some of them:
1. Toe scrunches:
This is a no-brainer, as it only involves using a towel and your toes to crumple it up. This particular exercise will flex and work out the small muscles inside your feet, thereby making them stronger and more flexible in the arch.
Begin by spreading out the towel on the floor, then placing your feet directly on top of it. Make sure that your feet are completely flat over the towel. Using only your toes, slowly move them inwards toward the ball of your foot, in the meantime moving the fabric toward you as well. The towel will start wrinkling while it happens. Return to resting position afterwards, then repeat until you feel a workout in the muscles.
2. Can-rolling exercise:
As its name suggests, this strengthening exercise relies on a can (or a cylinder object) to produce good results for your flat arches. In a way, this workout is more of a massage than anything, for it pushes out any tension at the bottom of your feet while also stretching out and preventing soreness from happening.
Similar to the towel scrunches, start by placing the can on its side on the floor before placing one of your feet on it, the arch directly on top of the object itself. Roll the can towards and away from you, making sure to add some downward pressure to relieve any tightness in your foot. Repeat with the other foot until both of your feet are relaxed.
3. Stair Raises:
Not only do stair raises improve arch strength, but they also work out the calves. They also help improve balance, for your feet will be slightly elevated above the ground, thereby training your body to remain stable.
First, start by placing the balls of your feet on the stairs, letting your arches and heels dangle off of the edge. In a slow and controlled fashion, raise your arches and heels as if you’re trying to stand on your tiptoes, before lowering them back down to starting position. Repeat the process until you feel a workout in your arches and calves.
Altogether, having flat feet doesn’t mean the end of your running career. By taking steps to strengthen and increase flexibility in your arches, you can prevent injuries and other problems from happening while running in the future. Have a good workout!
Featured photo credit: Bruno Nascimento via unsplash.com