Shoes are not good for our feet. We are meant to be barefoot as much as possible!
Going barefoot has been an obsession of mine ever since I became a physical therapist, and even more so as I examined my childhood and realized how much time I spent barefoot. My father, who was an orthopedic surgeon, said to my mom, “Let them be barefoot as long as you can.”
One of the biggest issues is how our big toes have been bound to our other toes, and we’ve lost a lot of freedom and mobility in that toe. Here are some exercises you can do to increase strength and flexibility in your big toe:
While barefoot, try to lift your toes without lifting the rest of your foot, one toe at a time. Then, try specifically with the big toe. If you can’t do this yet, lift up all your toes, and while keeping them up, use your hands to push the rest of your toes down. Then slowly take your hand away while keeping the configuration the same. Your toes will eventually revert back, but you can continue this process.
Strengthening the muscles of your toes and feet will have a huge impact up the chain in your movement pattern. It’s never too late to redirect the course of your movement.
- Instagram: @lara.heimann