If you’re stuck for a little exercise motivation we’ve come up with a simple bodyweight circuit you can do anywhere. This workout is particularly great in your Vibram FiveFingers because not only will it help to strengthen your feet, you’ll need plenty of feedback from all those nerves down there to do the exercises properly. Take a look at the video and we’ve given you a little more information below on each exercise.
Five exercises to strengthen your feet
There are 5 exercises in total. Try to repeat the whole circuit 5 times.
1. Squats - 5 reps
These are great for your posture. You’ll be using your quadriceps (thighs), hamstrings (around the back), glutes (bum), and the muscles in your core. You’ll also be getting a lot of feedback from your feet to help you move properly.
While you may find it hard to squat any lower than a right angle, with some practice you may be able to get deeper. Make sure you keep your back straight though and your feet flat on the floor.
Also be aware of what’s happening at your knees and feet. If you can see or feel your knees moving closer to each other as you squat your feet will be rolling inwards too. By wearing Vibram FiveFingers (or being barefoot) you will be able to better feel when your feet are moving. Try to keep your feet flat on the floor and push yourself up using the muscles in you bum.
2. Deadlifts on your left leg - 5 reps
Bend from the hips rather than your knees (as in the squat). If you feel the exercise primarily in your hamstrings (back of your leg) and your glutes (bum), then you’ll know you’re doing it correctly.
This is a tricky exercise for your balance but your big toe is your friend here. Pushing it into the floor will help to keep you balanced and less likely to roll your weight to the outside of your foot. Pressing your big toe into the floor will also help to strengthen the arch of your foot. Be aware that when you do this you are using your big toe instead of rolling your whole foot towards it.
3. Deadlifts on your right leg – 5 reps
Balance may be harder on one side than the other. Often right-handed people will have a harder time balancing on their right leg. Take your time and listen to your feet.
4. Twisters – 5 pairs
Your arms should be straight with your hands under your shoulders. If they are higher than your shoulders, you may find your bum in the air too. Make sure your posture is straight from your ankles right to the back of your head.
Now twist, take one foot off the floor, bend your knee and try to send your leg out to your side. The more flexible you are the straighter you will be able to get your leg.
This twist should be coming from your waist, so your core (and in particular the oblique muscles at your sides) will work to support your spine as you move. With practice you’ll be able to do this and keep your supporting foot still, so your ankle doesn’t rotate outwards. Again, by being barefoot or in Vibram FiveFingers, you’ll be able to better feel what’s going on at your feet.
This is a great exercise for all those core muscles you use when you run. It does wonders to improve flexibility through your hips too.
5. Jumping on the spot – 30 seconds
You’ll need a timer for the last exercise and a metronome (check out your app store, there are loads of free options).
180 beats per minute is an ideal running tempo so set up your metronome and jump for 30 seconds.
You’ll only need to take small jumps. Bounce on the balls of your feet but make sure you’re kissing your heels on the floor as you land. If you stay up on your toes for this exercise, your calf muscles may start to complain pretty fast.
Try to keep in the same spot too. If you end up drifting forwards or back you may find correcting your posture will help.
Rinse and repeat!
That’s the workout. When you’ve finished all 5 exercises, go back to number one and start over until you’ve completed 5 rounds. You can take a break in between each set if you find it too hard (no more than 60 seconds though) and you could take it up a notch by increasing the reps for each exercise. Or try adding one rep onto each exercise with each round you do.