I am working on Part 2 of Barefoot is Better, but it’s not ready to post. I’ll be posting from the workshop “Walking The Lines: Gait, Anatomy Trains & Fascial Efficiency” with James Earls over the next three days, but should be able to pick up on the barefoot theme soon after.
Here is a great exercise that I call Toe Up Toe Down that stretches the adductor muscles of your toes. Another great mobilization for feet that have been in shoes all day, all life. You will probably do this seated, but I guess it could be done standing in a figure four balance with your foot crossed over your thigh.
Toe Up Toe Down
- Bend your right knee and bring it toward your torso so that you can handle your toes.
- Pull your big toe away from its base or proximal joint and stretch it down and at the same time stretch the second toe long and up. Hold for 30 seconds and keep the toes as straight as you can – no flexing (bending) in the joints
- Next, release your big toe and stretch your second toe up and your third toe down. Hold for 30 seconds with out bending the toes.
- Continue until you reach your pinky toe
- Start over, but this time with the big toe stretching up while the second toe stretches down and so on.
- Repeat on your left foot.
You can see the video of Toe Up Toe Down at my FootLove Yoga Facebook page. I hold the stretches only a few seconds, but I suggest that you hold them longer, at least 30 seconds.