The "Big 2" foot restoration exercises
1) Foot mobility work
Spending years in narrow, rigid, supportive shoes creates a stiff and weak foot. This exercise helps restore mobility in the joints of the feet and wake up the muscles that often become tight and unable to function properly.
Dosage: 1 minute going from heel to toe, 1 minute from side to side with the heel on the ground as a pivot point. Apply enough pressure that it creates mild discomfort (like a deep massage). 2 minutes per foot done several times daily will give powerful results when done consistently.
2) Hip mobility work
Spending many hours a day sitting in a chair tightens up the muscles at the front of your hip and steals away your ability to use your glutes (also contributes to low back pain and the inability to generate torque at the hip joint which is needed to create an arch at the foot)
We find that to offset the sitting position, doing 1 minute of this active mobilization per hip for every hour you spend sitting in a chair each day can help to restore optimal hip extension (or at least prevent you from losing more). 8 hours of sitting (car, meetings, at work) means 8 minutes of this mobilization per hip just to offset those 8 hours. Ideally done in 1 minute increments per side and spaced out throughout your day.
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Toe spreaders explained:
A brief video on why toe spreaders can be an important tool to help restore optimal toe alignment after years spent in narrow, pointed footwear.