If you have a habit of doing the same kind of exercises maybe now is the time to change.
Our bodies thrive when challenged in a variety of different ways. The greater the variety of movement to which joints are exposed the healthier they will be.
Lack of variety in exercise predisposes us to injury by leading us to imbalances. One may wonder how to achieve variety in exercise and that is where I can help. With a simple step by step plan you can restore lost movement. The benefits of challenging your body in this way have been shown to improve mental health, physical health and overall sense of wellbeing. Often we can be more enthusiastic about exercise when it isn't the same every time.
A good place to begin is with the foot. The foot is a complex structure, that moves in a lot of different ways. Being the only part of the body that is in contact with the ground, it is important for it to function optimally. Foot dysfunction can have a negative effect on the rest of the body. The baby's foot is a good example of this, with normal toe splay and a broad toe box. With this in mind, increasing the available movement of the foot will definitely have beneficial effects.
Most often stiffness occurs at the big toe, the mid foot and the ankle joint. Without further ado here are some movements that will help wake those feet up again. If you are injured please consult a practitioner before attempting these exercises.
Toe Separation. This is a simple movement that often catches people out. If you find it difficult, keep trying. It will come with practice.
2. Self release with ball. Classic exercise that really works.
3. Kneeling Dorsiflexion. Simple but it can be uncomfortable initially. To make this easier you can lead forward and/or lean on your hands. Gradually progress into this position.
4. Plantarflexion Stretch. Not everyone will have the range shown in this picture, however it is a great exercise for increased ankle range of motion as well as the big toe.
Keep on moving!