The small muscles on the underside of the foot can play a big role in supporting the arch. One of the exercises I found helpful in strengthening the muscles that support the arch is toe-tapping, or what I like to call Toe Yoga.
- Start with your foot flat on the floor
- Try to lift your big toe into the air while keeping the other toes down
- Then switch and try to lift your other four toes while keeping the big toe pressed down
- Keep alternating back and forth until the muscles on the inside of your arch start to feel fatigued
Purpose of Toe Lifting
This exercise trains the muscles attached to toes to work independently of each other and the other muscles in the foot.
When I first started my feet would cramp while doing these toe lifts. That’s how I knew it was targeting the right spots. After a few weeks, it became easier to move the toes independently. I also find it helpful to focus on holding an arch in the foot while doing this exercise.
This is an exercise that took me a while to do properly. It’s one of the exercises listed in the basic program because I think toe dexterity is important for maintaining healthy feet.