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June 6, 2019
Fix Flat Feet
- Keep them straight. Take a minute to evaluate your standing position. Stand up and walk around the room for a minute. Stop and look straight ahead. Now, without changing the position of your feet, look down and see which way your feet are pointing. For most people, if they were to draw an imaginary straight line out of their pinky toe they would find their feet are pointing outward – almost to the point of “duck feet”. If that’s the case with you, turn your foot at the ankle so that the imaginary line goes straight out in front of you – so that the lines from both feet are parallel and headed toward any object in the distance in front of you. Remember that position. Every time you stop to stand still take notice of your foot position and adjust accordingly.
- Roll the knees out. Once your feet are in the straight position mentioned above, try to bounce your knee caps up and down. Can you? Most people can’t. Keep trying. Usually it’s easiest to try to raise them up and then let them go. Once you’ve bounced them up and down a few times try to roll your knees open without lifting your feet or bending your knees. Be patient, this isn’t easy! Imagine trying to get your knees to look at each side wall. What you should notice is that your feet miraculously “get” an arch. Again, every time you stop to stand still, get those feet in position and try the knee roll.
- Lift up your toes. This one you can do while you are standing (hold on to a chair if needed) or while you’re sitting. With your feet on the ground, spread your toes wide and then lift your toes into the air while keeping the ball of your foot and your heel on the ground. Drop them to the ground again. Now the next time try lifting each toe up in a wave starting with the big toe over to the pinky toe until they’re all up again. Put them back down in opposite order. This helps to strengthen the individual muscles in the foot. If you’re standing while trying this exercise, remember your foot position and try to keep those knees rolled.
- Massage the arch. Using a tennis ball or similar child’s play ball, massage the arch of your foot daily by rolling your foot back and forth on the ball. Stand and sink into the ball with your foot but don’t put your full body weight on the ball. Switch to the other foot.
- Stretch your calves. One of foot guru, body alignment expert and biomechanist, Katy Bowman’s go to exercises for any type of foot problem is a calf stretch. Put the ball of your foot on the top of a rolled up towel and drop your heel to the ground. Keeping the weight in the heel of that foot, slowly try to inch your free foot forward. Switch to the other side.