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“Think of your body as your dream home and your feet and ankles as the foundation,” Perkins said to the Daily Commercial. “All of the support beams above your ankles need a strong and stable base.”
So she has five specific exercises that are to strengthen your feet and ankles and make walking in those sky high killer heels a little easier. The good thing is you can do those exercises anywhere – in the gym or even at home. Don’t forget to also take some proper care of your feet too, so you can have perfect feet looking even more perfect in your favorite high heels.
Begin with simple calf rises. Stand on a stable box or stair step so that half of each foot is off the box or stair and your body weight is on the balls of your feet. Your feet should be parallel to the floor. Focus on your core for balance as you slowly rise up onto your toes. Pause at the top of the move and squeeze your calves to rise as high as possible. Then slowly lower your heels to just below parallel to the floor. Do 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 20 repetitions throughout the day, or include them as a warm-up before your workout or as a quick recovery move after a run.
Next are deadlifts. This exercise incorporates most muscles in the body and improves foot mobility and stability. You can adjust the toughness by using dumbbells or a barbell or keep it simple with your body weight if you’re new to the move. Start in a standing position, holding a barbell in the overhand position (palms facing the tops of your thighs), with your hands slightly wider than your shoulders. Keep your chest lifted and your shoulders back and down.
Turn your feet outward (think 11 and 1 on a clock) to help with balance. Keep your chest lifted as you bend your knees, and allow your hips to reach back as if you’re about to sit in a chair. Keep your arms in a dead hang, and allow the bar to slide down your legs. Pause at the bottom with the weight plates hovering just above the ground, your hips reaching back and your chest lifted high. Keeping your chest lifted, push into your heels, keep your arms in a dead hang, and return to the starting position. Add 2 sets of 12 to 15 reps to your weekly gym routine.
Then are the classic towel scrunches. Sit on a chair and stretch a towel on the floor in front of you. Anchor your right heel on the ground and use your toes to scrunch the towel toward you. Bring the towel as close to you as possible, and then straighten the towel back out until it’s once again lying flat on the floor. Switch to your left foot and repeat. You can do these after your morning shower. This works your calf muscles.
Next, toe tappers. They work your ankles. Place both feet flat on the floor (you can do it standing or sitting, depending on your balance). Flex your right ankle to lift your toe off the ground, while keeping your heel on the floor. Lower your toe back to the floor quickly. Continue the move in a tapping rhythm for 20 seconds, alternating between your left and right foot.
Finally, heel walking. The actual heel of your foot, not the shoes. In the standing position, lift your toes off the floor and balancing just on the balls of your heels. Walk forward for 30 to 60 seconds, then rest. Repeat 2 to 3 more times. Do this before going out or as a part of your warm-up routine before running. It will work your shins, calves, feet and ankles.