Here is a great foot exercise that I have been doing this for a couple of weeks now and it is excellent for finding balanced action in the foot and ankle and firing up the peroneal muscles on the outer shin.
The peroneal muscles are key to the CoreWalking Program as very few people I see have these muscles working to the best of their ability. The peroneal muscles, brevis and longus, run from just below the knee (longus) and from the center of the outer shin (brevis), to the middle of the outside of the foot (brevis) and under the foot to the base of the big toe (longus).
When these two muscles activate correctly they lift both the outer (brevis), and transverse (longus) arches, of the foot. One of the main issues I find with all walking patterns is that people tend to wear their shoes out through the outside of the sole. The outer heel wears down as it should but then all wear patterns tend to move through the outside of the shoe rather than across the whole ball of the foot as it should.
If this is the case with your shoes you will likely have tight and ineffective peroneal muscles. As you do the foot exercise in the video you might find it difficult to keep the ball between the shins and stay grounded through the midline or big toe side of the foot.
Footwork of all kinds is a major part of the CoreWalking plan for ageing gracefully. This foot exercise will be an excellent addition to the long list of different ways we want clients to work their feet, ankles and calves.
Balanced action of the feet as the heels lift will keep the ball in place. You want both feet to do the same thing during the exercise, grounding through the whole ball of the foot and keeping the ankles even as they extend.
Foot Exercise: Ball Between the Ankles
- Place a ball no more than 3 or 4 inches in diameter between the shins just above the anklebones.
- Spread the toes and stay grounded through both the inside and outside of the ball of the foot.
- Lift the heels at the same pace trying to keep the ankles and feet from rolling out.
- You might feel the peroneal muscles engaging like crazy as the heels stay lifted and you ground the feet towards the midline.