Teaching people to walk means explaining how the foot works over and over again. Two things that always resonate with me are how much I love feet and what they do; and how little most people know about these two things that bear a lot responsibility for holding us up and moving us forward.
Time invested in foot work will pay off as our bodies require more maintenance than most people realize. When it comes to figuring out how to move your body more efficiently building a better base is a great place to start. The feet deserve a great deal of attention and care because the muscles of the feet and calves need to be developed in order to support the skeleton that teeters above them.
This exercise works the calf muscles soleus and gastrocnemius as well as foot muscles that I wrote about last week—flexor hallucis brevis as well as flexor hallucis longus. Another post from last week, Clean House, covers a different exercise for some of the same muscles.
- Stand in bare feet. Bring your feet as close together as possible making your feet parallel.
- Lift your heels up off the floor balancing on the balls of your feet keeping weight to the inside of the foot.
- Pay attention to the ankle bones and the inner arch of the foot. Try to go straight up and down without any bowing out to the side.
- Before you come down try to lift a little bit higher and then lower your heels.