Strengthening your foot muscles can help propel your run and prevent injuries to your feet, hips and back. Even if you’re not a runner, this is a useful exercise for footballers, rugby players and basketballers.
Perform these moves 2 or 3 times a week for 1 to 2 minutes each. Gradually increase frequency and duration as you gain strength, says Michael Yessis, PhD, the president of Sports Training, a sports and strength coaching company based in the US.
Run on a flat surface. Land near your arch, at midfoot, making contact with the ground slightly in front of your body. Then immediately
shift your weight to your heel. Your stride should feel springy. Try it on sand: “Your toes will naturally curl to enhance strengthening,” says Yessis.
Place a towel on the floor. Stand on the edge of it, and grasp as much of the cloth beneath your toes as you can. Pull it back towards
you and gradually move forward as the towel bunches up, so that you always have new material to grab.
Attach a rubber cord to a sturdy object and sit on the floor with your legs outstretched. Secure the cord near the ball of your foot, making sure it’s taut over the top. Pull the ball of your foot towards your shin as far as you can. Then fully extend your foot and repeat.