it doesn't matter if you're a ballerina or a factory worker, your toes play an important part in maintaining your balance. Even with this important function, toes are often neglected during stretching routines and abused by uncomfortable footwear. Stretching your toes can reduce your risk of injury by increasing the overall flexibility of your toes and the arch of your feet. All of these toe stretches are performed barefoot. Before stretching, consult with your doctor, especially if you have a pre-existing foot injury.
Simple Toe Fan Stretch
Sit on a chair or on the floor, or lie in bed for the easiest of all toe stretches. Use the muscles of your feet to fan out your toes as far as you can get them apart. Once your toes reach their max separation, hold the stretch for five seconds and then relax for five seconds. Repeat this stretch 10 times. It's easier to stretch warm muscles, so perform this stretch after a warm shower to enhance the stretching potential.
Toe Tops Chair Stretch
Sit on a chair with your feet flat on the ground. If it's a simple four-legged chair or computer chair, keep the back of your thighs pressed on the seat of the chair as you further bend your knees to move your ankles under your chair and place the tops of your toes on the ground. Tuck your toes under your foot so your toenails are firmly against the floor. Push the top of your foot into the floor until you feel a painless stretch. Use your leg muscles to advance or pull back on the stretch. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds. If you're sitting on a couch, rest the ankle of your right foot on top of your left knee. Place your fingers over the top of your toes and pull your toes toward your heel.
Seated Toe-Foot-Calf Stretch
To perform this stretch, sit on the floor while holding a towel with one end in each hand. With your knees bent, place the middle of the towel under the ball of your right foot. Extend your right leg while keeping your left knee bent with your foot flat on the ground. Pull the towel toward your body until you feel a painless stretch; hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Repeat the stretch with your left foot. This stretch also benefits your calf muscles. Stretching your calves reduces concentrated forces to your feet, according to Comfort Shoe Specialists.
Rubber Band Stretch
While sitting on the floor or in a chair, place one thick rubber band around both of your big toes. The thick rubber band used in the produce department of your grocery store for asparagus is perfect for this stretch. Slowly pull your feet apart as your big toes stretch because of the resistance from the band. Hold the stretch for five seconds and repeat 10 times.
Toe Lunge Stretch
Start this stretch by standing with your feet together. Step forward about 2 feet with your right foot and lower your left knee so it touches the ground. The cushions of your left toes stay on the floor under your buttocks while arching your foot, so you're sitting on the heel of your left foot. Place your hands on the floor to the sides of your body to help maintain your balance during the stretch. Lean your body forward against the upper thigh of your right leg, so your chin is aligned with your right knee. Your right foot is flat on the ground. As you feel the stretch in your left toes, hold the position for 30 seconds and then switch feet.
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