restore: the legs program
foot and toe mobility – soft tissue care
Complete Foot and toe care
On this page and in this area, our focus is on the health and vitality of your feet and toes. Think about this: Each foot is made up of 26 bones, 30 joints, and more than 100 muscles, ligaments, and tendons.
In order to be injury-free and perform at our best, we need all of those assorted body parts to move freely, without restriction. And to also be stable and strong!
As we age and, if we’re running, the miles pile up, the idea that everything will be working in the same way as it did when we were kids just isn’t realistic.
At some point, our goal becomes to keep what we have and not lose any more of it — maintenance — and also simply doing whatever it is we can to increase our “margin of error.”
The closer we are to having good functioning, balanced, strong, mobile feet, the better our chance of avoiding the common foot-related injuries that so plague many runners and other athletes.
Check out this quick little video intro to rolling your feet!
Foot and Toe Mobility AND Soft Tissue Care
The first three videos you’ll find next address foot and toe mobility and independence.
After those, you’ll find some tips on self-myofascial release and how to care for your feet, all of it designed to keep blood and nutrients flowing into the tissues while waste products are flowing out.
What are we waiting for? Let’s get started!
In this 3+ minute-long video, we review some toe independence and intrinsic strengthening exercises to keep your feet and toes healthy and “doing their job.”
If you find these are challenging for you, just remember that even a 1% improvement in toe function and foot mobility results in a much more durable foot, and athlete. Trust me, a little goes a long way. Keep at it – the human body is amazing in its ability to adapt with consistent training!
Toes and Feet: Basic Mobilization, Independence, and Strength
In this 4-minutes long video, Dr. Kurt Strecker, co-founder of Pursuit Athletic Performance, goes through some basic foot mobility drills that are super effective for keeping the feet moving as they need to!
Basic Foot Mobility with Dr. Kurt Strecker
In this next 9.5 minutes video, Dr. Strecker discusses the importance of keeping our big toes mobile! This is so important!
He also demonstrates a few simple mobility exercises that you can do to maintain that mobility.
The exercises begin around 7 minutes into the video.
Big Toe Mobility with Dr. Kurt Strecker
We know that the body functions in a holistic manner where each part of the body affects other areas of the human anatomy. For example, if a person has a tissue restriction in the thoracic spine it could very well translate to a mobility impairment and compensation movement patterns in the cervical and lumbar spine, as well as the shoulder complex.
It’s important to be aware that occasionally we feel restricted in a specific part of our body and we target that spot with a tool of somekind, but that spot may not always be the culprit.
In fact, you may find that attending to areas adjacent to the suspected region might yield the positive result you’re after.
Oftentimes regions above, below and beside the suspected area is the location of the root cause of the mobility restriction. This phenomenon is known as regional interdependence.
Here’s a video with some ideas on self-myofascial release for the feet.
Here’s a short video with a couple of fun ankle mobility drills that you may find helpful.