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The Foot & Knee: Easy Exercises to Help You Move Better, Live Longer, & Feel Stronger

This blog will provide you with four exercises that you can begin incorporating to improve the health, mobility, and longevity of your knee and foot/ankle joint.

Let's start with the foot/ankle!

The foot/ankle is a complex area where the 22 bones of the foot meet the two bones of the lower leg. You may not realize it, but the foot is meant to be (and should remain) a highly movable part of the body . This helps to deal with the demand that the ground and the weight of your body are constantly putting on it.

The toes are the first point of force absorption in the feet. There are 14 bones that make up the five toes on each foot, and each bone should be able to glide and move independently of the others. Over the course of your lifetime wearing narrow toe box shoes, you've probably decreased your ability to not only move the toes but even to sense that the toes are independent structures.

Not to fear! This brings us to our first exercise: TOE CARs.

Try these every day, once a day, for the next week and let me know how they feel!

The second foot and ankle exercise is called the Wall Sit Tibialis Raise. This exercise will work the tibialis anterior muscle, which is a muscle on the front of the shin. If you've ever gotten shin splints, it's because this muscle wasn't working properly.

Try these every other day for one set of 10-15 reps for the next week and let me know how they feel!

PLEASE NOTE: This exercise is a bit more demanding than the toe CARs and can cause some discomfort in the knees when you first try it. If that's the case, do not sink down into your wall sit position quite as far. It's totally okay to just be leaning up against a wall for the first couple of weeks. As you progress, you can start to bend the knees one inch at a time to see if you can start handling the load of your body weight in your quadriceps muscle.

Moving onto the knee!

The knee is the next joint up the chain from the feet. During the gait cycle, it accepts load by bending as the foot hits the ground. If the muscles surrounding the knee are weak or tight, the force can go directly into the joint causing pain. Not to worry, we can rebuild a healthier version of your knee to help it function more efficiently.

Did you know your knee can rotate? The Knee Capsule CAR will teach you exactly how to become aware and subsequently learn to control the rotation of your knee. Knee rotation is an important movement that works some of the deepest layers of tissue in the knee, generally referred to as the "Joint Capsule." This rotation plays a large role in squatting and hip hinging movements, as well as walking up and down stairs or inclines.

Try these every day, once a day, for the next week and let me know how they feel!

Please note: You can do this sitting in a chair, as shown in this video: Knee CAR Progression.

Our final exercise for the knee is the Supine Knee Hug to Extension. This exercise is not only a great stretch for the hamstring, but when done properly, it will strengthen the hip flexor and quadriceps. If you have difficulty getting down to the floor, feel free to try this sitting in a chair!

Try this exercise every day for 5-10 reps each leg for the next week and let me know how they feel!

Tell me what you thought!

  • Which exercises did you try?

  • Were these exercises easier or harder than you thought they would be?

  • How did you feel while trying these exercises? How did you feel afterwards?

  • Any other feedback you'd like to share!

Stay tuned for our next blog post that will have some exercises for the hips and spine!

If you'd like to learn more about how to move better, live longer, and feel stronger, schedule a no-sweat intro phone call via our website by clicking here: Schedule Now.

We would love to help guide you along your fitness journey!

-The Triad Team

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