Flat feet or fallen arches (Pes planus) can cause a number of problems with your feet, ankles, shins, knees, and hips. The first thing you can do to avoid problems stemming from flat feet and aid in the prevention of injuries is ensuring you wear supportive shoes that provide good arch support. Our friends at Big River Running can help you find properly fitting shoes and possibly an insole that can support your arch.
Second, intrinsic foot muscle exercises can be beneficial for those who are suffering from pes planus, foot/ankle injuries, balance issues, and lower extremity injuries in general. The intrinsic foot muscle exercises listed below work to activate and strengthen the muscle within our feet that provide the base of support during every step throughout your workout. If the intrinsic foot muscles are weak, then foot structures (along with other structures of the lower body) are subjected to increased amounts of force and stress, potentially increasing the risk of injury.
Intrinsic Foot Muscle Exercises
Foot Doming (pictured below) – bring your big toe back toward your heel, creating an “arch” in your foot.
Big Toe Extension – Raise your big toe off the floor, keeping all other toes flat on the ground
Little Toes Extension – Raise your little toes off the floor, keeping your big toe flat on the ground
Toe Spread – Keeping toes flat on the ground, spread toes as far apart as you can