Here is a simple exercise that is suitable for all ages and abilities that can improve your balance and strengthen the intrinsic muscles in your feet: the Foot Tripod exercise. I use this with my elderly clients who want to improve balance, my post rehab clients whose balance is sometimes impaired after surgery or injury, and my running clients, especially those who are transitioning to barefoot or minimalist running. If you’d like to improve your balance – this is an exercise that can be done anytime, anywhere, without any equipment. I recommend doing it barefoot to improve proprioception.
Foot Tripod Exercise
The foot tripod consists of the center of the heel, head of the first metatarsal (big toe), and head of the fifth metatarsal (little toe).
Start by standing erect with good posture, both feet on the ground about hip width apart.
Lift all of your toes to make a foot tripod. Feel all three points anchoring you to the ground, then let your toes fall relaxed to the floor.Lift toes up
Find equal balance between all 3 points of the tripod.
Shift weight to one foot and lift the other foot off the floor.foot tripod single leg balance
Balance on one foot keeping knee unlocked and lined up over second toe.
Keep body weight evenly distributed between the points of the tripod.
Do not allow toes to curl or “grip” the floor.
Gradually work up to holding balance for 1 minute.
With regular practice, you will find that the smaller muscles in your feet that support your arch will become stronger and your balance will improve. If you’d like to learn more foot strengthening or balance exercises, give me a call and we’ll get you started!