Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Day 31- Breathing (Diaphragmatic)




This exercise is so very important to Pilates, and one of the basic tenets of every Pilates exercise.  The breath is the place to start and the place to revisit when you get stuck.  Being facile with breath and being able to choose what kind of breath to use will make any Pilates exercise more effective.
To do this exercise you will need a mat.  You will start lying on your back (supine).  Your knees can be bent with your feet planted into the ground, or your legs can be long along the floor.  Place your hands on your belly.  Take an inhale and use the breath to lift your hands.  Exhale notice that the belly is hollowing towards the floor.  Continue for 8-10 breaths. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 30- Ankle Circles with Toes Spread while Laying Supine



This exercise is intended to increase the endurance in the intrinsic muscles of the foot while moving the ankle in different planes of motion.

To do this exercise you will need a mat.  You will begin by lying on your back and lifting one leg into the air.  First spread your toes apart, and then begin circling your ankle while maintaining as much distance as possible between your toes.  Let your body feel the stretch throughout the different tendons and ligaments that wrap around the ankle


What to watch for:
Be sure to have ease in your head, neck, and shoulders.  Maintain a long axis in the spine.
Notice that during different parts of the circle it may be harder to keep your toes spread apart.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Day 29- Segmental Point and Flex



This exercise adds strength training for the intrinsic muscles of the foot to plantar and dorsi flexion.

To do this exercise you will need a mat.  You will begin by lying on your back and lifting one leg into the air.   Start the exercise with a pointed foot.  Spread your toes apart as you pull your toes towards you.  Then flex the ankle completely, next spread your toes apart as you press through the ball of your foot and then point your toes.  Repeat 8-10 times.

What to watch for:
Be sure to have ease in your head, neck, and shoulders.  Maintain a long axis in the spine.
It is helpful with this exercise to imagine moving your foot through molasses or peanut butter, or whatever viscous substance you choose.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Day 28- Point and Flex Foot While Supine





This exercise is intended to let the ankle move in a non-weight bearing environment. 

To do this exercise you will need a mat.  You will begin by lying on your back and lifting one leg into the air.  Be sure that you can see your toes.  Then flex and point your foot.  When you flex your foot pull your toes towards your body and when you point your foot reach your toes towards the ceiling.  Repeat 8-10 times.

What to watch for:
Be sure to have ease in your head, neck, and shoulders.  Maintain a long axis in the spine.
Imagine how the foot can move around the heel.  The heel is a very important landmark when thinking about alignment and connectivity. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Day 27- Spread and Release the Toes



This exercise is the first part of a four part series that can strengthen the shin, improve circulation and increase strength and flexibility in the ankle.

To do this exercise you will need a mat.  You will begin by lying on your back and lifting one leg into the air.  Be sure that you can see your toes.  Then begin spreading the toes apart as much as you can and then release the toes.  Exhale as you spread the toes apart and then inhale as you release.  Repeat 8-10 times.

What to watch for:
With supine exercises it is always important to find ease in the head, neck, and shoulders and to lay on the mat with the longest possible spine.  
This exercise and the three following may cause a burning in the shin and the top of the foot.  This is okay, but if it becomes too much to handle, then it is a good idea to rest.  The best way to relieve the burning is to literally shake the ankle out

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Day 26- Sequential Toe Wave: Big Toe to LIttle Toe


Sequential Toe Wave Big Toe to Little Toe


This exercise is also a foot dexterity exercise. It is very similar to the previous exercise but much more difficult to coordinate.  This makes it a great exercise because it challenges neural pathways from your brain to your foot. 
To do this exercise you will sit in a chair with both feet planted on the ground. Your heels will be directly beneath your knees and the rest of your foot will shoot out directly in front of your heel.  To start the exercise lift your toes while keeping the ball of the foot in contact with the floor and then place each toe back on the ground individually starting from the big toe moving sequentially through the toes all the way back to the pinky.  Repeat 10-12 times.
What to watch for
As with any of the seated exercise this can be a full body workout if awareness of the breath and upright posture are part of the exercise.  Be sure to keep your gaze forward and sit on the edge of the chair.
The hardest part of this sequence is going to be placing the second toe on the ground, but keep working the struggle is part of the learning process.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Day 25- Sequential Toe Wave: Little Toe to Big Toe


Sequential Toe Wave: Little Toe to Big Toe

This exercise is another foot dexterity exercise.  Imagine yourself as a child. Did you climb trees?  Did you run around bare foot?  These are all fabulous things for our feet, and as we grow into adulthood and the land of constant shoes our foot loses some dexterity.  This exercise is there to put that dexterity back!
To do this exercise you will sit in a chair with both feet planted on the ground. Your heels will be directly beneath your knees and the rest of your foot will shoot out directly in front of your heel.  To start the exercise lift your toes while keeping the ball of the foot in contact with the floor and then place each toe back on the ground individually starting from the pinky moving sequentially through the toes all the way back to the big toe.  Repeat 10-12 times
What to watch for
As with any of the seated exercises this can be a full body workout if awareness of the breath and upright posture are part of the exercise.  Be sure to keep your gaze forward and sit on the edge of the chair.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Day 24- The Great Towel Draw


The Great Towel Draw


This Exercise is very similar to the Monster Footwork.  The foot mechanics are the same but the goal has changed.  Instead of using the intrinsic muscles of the foot to propel your foot forward, you will use the intrinsic muscles of the foot to pull a towel underneath the foot.
To do this exercise you will place the edge of a towel underneath the tips of your toes.  Then spread your toes out and use the muscles in the bottom of your foot to pull the towel towards you.  Repeat until the towel is crumpled up underneath your foot
What to watch for
If your foot is not used to this movement the bottom of your feet may cramp.  If this happens simply shake the foot out until the cramp releases and start again.  As your foot gains dexterity the cramping will happen less and less.
This exercise may try your patience a little bit.  Remember to keep breathing and embrace the learning process.  The more tension in your body and posture the harder it will be to complete the exercise.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Day 23- The Monster Footwork


The Monster Foot Work

This exercise is designed to increase the articulation of the foot.  It is a great exercise for those of us who must wear shoes all day long.  Consider it a way to free the foot from stiffness that could accrue over the years.
To do this exercise takes some imagination.  Imagine that your foot is a slithering monster, and its mode of ambulation is the toes.  With this picture in mind I want you to sit in a chair and spread your toes out.  Then place your toes on the ground with as much space between each toe as possible.  At this point begin pulling your heel forward with your toes until your toes are scrunched and curled.  Then spread your toes out and place them on the ground so as to start the “foot monster’s” next step.
What to watch for
If your foot is not used to this movement the bottom of your feet may cramp up.  If this happens simply shake the foot out until the cramp releases and start again.  As your foot gains dexterity the cramping will happen less and less
Also remember your posture is a part of this exercise.  How are you sitting in the chair?  Keep that question in the back of your mind.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Day22- Ankle Supination/Pronation and the Spikey Ball





This exercise is intended to continue increasing the ankle’s range of motion and it keeps all of the tendons tracking around the ankle for safety.  It also provides stimulation and release to the fascia on the bottom of the foot.

To do this exercise you will need a spiky ball.  With your spiky ball in hand sit in a chair and place the spiky ball under the ball of your foot and then place the foot’s heel on the ground.  Then keeping the heel in place roll the ball of the foot from side to side on the spiky ball.  Next place the heel of the foot on the spiky ball with the ball of the foot on the ground. Then roll the heel from side to side on the spiky ball.

What to watch for:
Be very aware of your posture in this exercise.  As your foot is moving keep your gaze forward.  This will increase the proprioceptive challenge

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Day 21- Foot Cursive -The Alphabet with the Theraband


Foot Cursive – The Alphabet With The Theraband


This exercise is intended to add resistance to the previous exercise.  Your goal is still moving the ankle in all planes in a non-weight-bearing environment.  It will increase the strength in fascial connections and make the ankle safer in tricky situations.
To do this exercise you will need a theraband.  When sitting wrap the middle of the theraband around the ball of your foot and then hold the ends in one hand.  Then imagine that your toes are a giant marker and you have been assigned the task of writing the alphabet in cursive on the floor beneath you.  Try to get through the entire alphabet and then repeat on the other side.
What to watch for:
Try to make sure that you are moving the ankle equally in all directions.  This will help balance out the tissues that surround the ankle to increase its stability.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 20- Foot Cursive- The Alphabet


Foot cursive – The Alphabet

This exercise is intended to move the ankle in all planes in a non-weight-bearing environment.  It strengthens the fascial connections in the ankle, which will improve balance and coordination.
To do this exercise you will sit on a chair and hold your leg in front of you.  Then imagine that your toes are a giant marker and you have been assigned the task of writing the alphabet in cursive on the floor beneath you.  Try to get through the entire alphabet and then repeat on the other side.
What to watch for:
This is a very safe exercise that can be done by most people very easily.  As always be aware of your breath and your posture to make the benefits of this exercise wave throughout the entire body.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Day 19- Ankle Inversion/Eversion with Theraband


Ankle Inversion/Eversion with a theraband



 This exercise is intended to strengthen the lateral and medial stability of the ankle.  It is great for the person that finds that he or she is often nursing a strain or sprained ankle.
To do this exercise you will need a theraband.  When sitting wrap the middle of the theraband around the ball of your foot and then hold the ends in one hand.  First, cross the theraband over the midline of the body and then using the muscles and the tendons on the side of your ankle pull your foot away from the midline.  Then move the theraband to the outside of the leg (you might have to hold it in the other hand) and exhale as you pull the forefoot towards the midline.
What to watch for:
The safety concern for this exercise is snapping the theraband.  Be sure that you have a very strong grip. 
Be aware of your sitting posture as you are doing this exercise.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Day 18-Side Stepping on Full Foam Roller


Side stepping on full foam roller

This exercise is intended to challenge the balance further with side stepping on the foam roller.  It engages the leg abductors, which are an important component of balance and stasis.
To do this exercise you will need a full foam roller.  Place the foam roller on the floor about six inches away from the wall.  Then placing your hands gently against the wall step onto the roller with both feet.  Then you will exhale as you take a small side step towards the end of the roller and then inhale as you bring the other foot in to meet the first.  Then you will repeat until you reach the other end of the roller.  After this reverse directions until you return to the starting position.  Repeat 3-5 times
What to watch for:
Be aware of your safety.  These exercises are intended to strengthen the ankles, but if an ankle is really weak they may be dangerous.  Have a wall close so that you have assistance.  Side stepping on the floor is a good way to practice this exercise before adding the foam roller.
As always calming the nerves with the breath will always make balance exercises easier.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Day 17-Single Leg Balance on Full Foam Roller


Single Leg Balance on Full Foam Roller

This exercise is an advanced balance exercise and intended for those that are looking for a challenge. 
To do this exercise you will need a full foam roller.  You will place the foam roller on the ground, then place your hand on the wall and step on the foam roller with your foot perpendicular to the roller? How’s your balance?  




If you want to challenge yourself further you can stand with your foot parallel on top of the roller (This exercise should be executed with caution)
What to watch for:
Isolating balance exercises in the ankle is precarious.  If you have a history of ankle strain be sure to proceed with caution. 
 Keep your breath moving.  Holding your breath while balancing can disconnect you from your pelvic floor and your center.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Day 16-Double Leg Balance on 1/2 Foam Roller


Double Leg Balance

This exercise is another balance challenge this time both of your feet will be on the ½ foam roller.
To do this exercise you will start by placing both feet on the ½ foam roller with your hand touching the wall.  Your feet will be perpendicular to the roller and about hip width apart.  Find your height and try to release your hand from the wall.  Let your ankles wobble it is the negotiation between the wobbles that will improve your balance.  Hold this for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Things to watch for
Keep your breath moving.  Holding your breath while balancing can disconnect you from your pelvic floor and your center.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day 15- Single Leg Balance on 1/2 Foam Roller


Single Leg Balance on ½ Foam Roller

This exercise is intended to add challenge to the proprioceptors in the ankle.  To improve balance, it is important to challenge the balance and one way to add challenge one leg standing is to stand on the ½ foam roller.
To do this exercise you will need a half foam roller.  You will place the roller so that the round or rocking part is on the ground.  Then place your entire foot on the roller so that the length of your foot follows the length of the roller.  Be sure there is a wall beside you so that you may use it as you adjust to your new unstable base.  Then slowly begin to pick up the other foot and let your ankle wobble.  It is the wobbling that allows your proprioceptors to adjust to the new environment.  Continue wobbling for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  If this exercise feels too easy then place your hand on the wall and close your eyes to add an additional balance challenge.
Things to watch for
It is important to have a wall to catch you.  Balance practice requires that you put yourself in a precarious position.  This means that the safety of a wall or pole to touch when necessary becomes part of the exercise.
Notice your breath and continue exhaling.  Holding your breath when attempting a balance challenge will disconnect you from your lower body and do nothing to improve your balance.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day 14- Calf Stretch (Soleus) on 1/2 Foam Roller


Calf Stretch (soleus) on the ½ foam roller

This exercise is a static stretch for the soleus, which is the larger muscle than runs underneath the gastrocnemius and the achilles tendon.  As with all stretches the fascia is affected as much as the muscle and so the soleus is not the sole benefactor of this stretch.  It can also be helpful for the plantar fascia and the gastrocnemius
To do this exercise you will need a half foam roller.  You will place the roller so that the round or rocking part is on the ground.  Then place the ball of your foot on the roller and use the roller to reach your heel to the ground.  Then while maintaining contact with the heel bend the knee.  This will move the stretch from the gastrocnemius to the soleus.  You can increase the stretch by moving the standing foot in front of the foam roller.
Things to watch for:
Sometimes when doing this stretch there can be tension in the front of the ankle.  It is important make sure the range of motion of the ankle is such that this stretch does not cause strain.
Breath and slow movements, Static stretches can be very useful especially when it comes to releasing fascial restrictions.  The breath allows for a calming to continue in the body.  It is a great meditative process as well.  Continue breathing as your feel the stretch!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Day 13-Calf Stretch (Gastrocnemius) on 1/2 Foam Roller


Calf Stretch (gastrocnemius) on the ½ foam roller

This exercise is a static stretch for the gastrocnemius.  It encourages length in the back of the leg and can be used as part of any hamstring or calf release.  It is an excellent exercise to perform after ankle range of motion exercises.
To do this exercise you will need a half foam roller.  You will place the roller so that the round or rocking part is on the ground.  Then place the ball of your foot on the roller and use the roller to reach your heel to the ground.  Continue breathing (the deeper the better) and then allow the standing leg (not on the foam roller) to step in front of the roller while maintaining the connection of the opposite heel to the floor.  Hold for 30 second to 1 minute.  You can increase the stretch by moving the standing foot in front of the foam roller.
Things to watch for:
Breath and slow movements, static stretches can be very useful especially when it comes to releasing fascial restrictions.  The breath allows for a calming to continue in the body.  It is a great meditative process as well.  Continue breathing as your feel the stretch!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Day 12- Alternating Calf Raises with Step


Alternating Calf Raises with a Step

This exercise adds the stair step to a previous exercise to increase the range of motion.  This exercise is great for someone that is trying to reduce swelling from a knee injury.

To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge.  Then while breathing continuously reach one heel for the floor as you begin to lift the other heel. Continue to alternate your heels.  Imagine that your legs are pistons and pumps moving in a fluid machine. You can also imagine that you are moving through molasses.

Things to watch out for:
Pelvic Stability – Be sure as you are doing this exercise that the halves of your pelvis are maintaining stability and ease.  This movement should move like waves through your joints without any jerkiness or shearing.
As always in standing exercises be sure to reach your head towards the ceiling and imagine that the spine is dangling beneath it. 
Make sure that the knees are tracking over the second and third toes.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Day 11- Calf Raises with Bent Leg on a Step with a Ball


Calf Raises with Bent Leg on a Step with Ball Between Ankles

This exercise combines two previous exercises so that you can strengthen the soleus in a greater range of motion while using an aid to maintain proper alignment and to increase strength training in the peroneal muscles

To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge.  Then place a soft ball between the medial malleoli of the ankle, and bend the knees while maintaining an upright posture.  Inhale as you reach your heels towards the floor and exhale as you lift the heels maintaining the length in your spine.  Keep the ball between the ankles.

Things to watch for:
Be sure that each ankle is exerting the same squeeze towards the ball, and as always be sure to keep the knees tracking over the second and third toes.
As you exhale imagine lifting your belly button and your heels at the same time.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Day 10- Calf Raises Straight Leg on Step with Ball


Calf raises straight leg on a step with ball between ankles
This exercise combines two of the previous.  You will do the calf raises on the step to increase the range of motion, and you will place a ball between the medial malleoli of the ankle to aid in ankle alignment and balance.


To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge.  Then place a soft ball between the medial malleoli of the ankle, and while maintaining long and straight legs inhale as you reach your heels below the step and then exhale as you lift your heels towards the ceiling.  Inhale release your heels slowly and exhale lift.  Imagine that as you exhale you are lifting your heels and your belly button at the same time. Repeat 8-10 times
Things to watch for:
Remember that this is a full body exercise that the length in your spine and the lift in your belly is as much a part of the exercise as the ankle work.
For the sake of safety, make sure that there is a railing that is close for balance.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Day 9- Calf Raises with Bent Leg on a Step


Calf raises bent leg on a step

This Exercise is intended to increase the movement available at the ankle and to increase the strength of the soleus muscle.  The soleus muscle is an important support system for the lower leg and its strength can prevent or aid in the recovery from shin splints
To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge.  Then bend both knees.  Keeping the angle of the knees the same inhale as you reach your heels below the step and then exhale as you raise your heels towards the ceiling.  Inhale as you reach your heels below the step and exhale as you lift your heels. Repeat 8-10 times
Things to watch for:
 Balance may be tricky on this exercise be sure to have a railing handy.
When you bend your knees, be sure to send your head to the ceiling to keep your axis long.
As always when we are talking about weight bearing through the ankle you want to be sure that your knee is tracking over your second and third toe

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Day 8- Calf Raises with Straight Leg on a Step


Calf Raises Straight Leg on a Step



This exercise is intended to increase the range of motion at the ankle joint.  It is very similar to the calf raise with a straight leg from the floor but it adds the step or stair that increases the proprioceptive challenge as well as the range of motion.


To do this exercise begin by standing on a stair step, and then move both of your feet towards the edge of the step so that the balls of your feet are on the edge and your heels are extended off the edge.  Then inhale as you reach your heel below the step and stretch the calf muscles or the gastrocnemius.  Then exhale as you lift the heels into the air maintaining equal weight on the balls of your feet.  Inhale as you slowly reach your heels below the step and exhale as you lift your heels towards the ceiling


Things to watch for:
Your balance will be more precarious in this situation so a gentle hand on the stair railing may be of assistance when you are beginning this exercise.
As with all of these ankle exercises it is important to think of it as a full body exercise.  Even though we are isolating the movement of the ankle you want to imagine beginning this movement by reaching the top of the head to the sky.
You can also imagine lifting your belly button and your heel at the same time when you exhale.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Day 7- Alternating Calf Raises


Alternating Calf Raises



This exercise is intended to move and warm the ankles.  It is also a great exercise to practice foot ankle and knee alignment with movement.  It can create a healthy movement pattern that will then translate to a healthy gait pattern
To do this exercise begin standing with your weight equally distributed between your two feet.  Then lift one heel and while imagining the other heel reaching to the ground.  Then as you are lowering your first heel let the other heel begin lifting away from the ground.  Continue alternating the movement in your ankles as you imagine that you are moving your ankles through a thick substance.  Allow your knees to track over your second and third toes.   Repeat for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
Things to watch for:
Be sure to be aware of your posture.  As your ankles are moving imagine a wave moving through your spine.  It’s an easy wave that lubricates the joints at your knee and hip as well.
As with all of these ankle exercises it is always important to be sure that your knee is tracking over your second and third toes.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Day 6 - Calf Raise with Bent Leg Ball Between ankles


Calf Raise with Bent Leg Ball Between Ankles

This exercise is intended to strengthen the soleus and increase the balance in the ankle between the medial and lateral tendons.  This exercise is a great one to choose if your body tends to roll to the outside of your foot during ankle exercises.  Holding the ball gives you proprioceptive information that allows your body to learn correct ankle alignment
To do this exercise you will need a soft ball.  Start by standing on both feet with the soft ball between the medial malleolus of each ankle.  Be sure that the weight is distributed equally on both feet.  Next bend both knees while keeping the heel reaching towards the ground.  Then keeping your knees bent exhale as you lift your ankles while maintaining equal pressure on the ball.  Inhale as you  slowly reach your ankles to the floor and then exhale again as you lift your heels away from the floor. Repeat 8-10 times.
Things to watch for:
Once again, it is important to be sure that your weight is distributed equally on your feet and that your knees are tracking over your second and third toes. 
Also be sure that your posture is upright and that your spine is reaching towards the sky.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Day 5 - Calf Raises with Straight Leg, Ball Between ankles


Calf Raises with Straight Leg Ball Between Ankles

This exercise is very similar to the previous but it is using a prop to ensure proper alignment and to give an added challenge to the peroneal muscles and tendons on the lateral side of the ankle.  This exercise is great for ankle strength, and can add balance to the ankle that tends to roll through the fourth and fifth toe as opposed to the second and third toes.

To do this exercise start by standing on both feet with a soft ball between the medial malleolus of each ankle.  Be sure that the weight is distributed equally on both feet.  Then as you exhale press the balls of your feet into the ground as you rise onto your toes. Inhale as you slowly lower your heel to the ground, and then exhale as you rise on your toes again.  Repeat 8-10 times.

Things to Look for:
Posture, Posture, Posture – As you’re exhaling imagine your head floating to the ceiling.  As in everything the longer you feel in your spine, the safer your joints will be.
Also, like all of these ankle exercises, the weight of your foot should move over your second and third toes to prevent ankle strain and bone deformation in the toes.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Day 4 - Calf Raises with Bent Leg


Calf Raises with Bent Leg

This exercise is also intended to contribute to ankle strength.  It is similar to the calf raise, but it isolates the soleus muscle as opposed to the gastrocnemius, which was strengthened in the previous post.

To do this exercise you will start by standing with equal weight on both feet.  Then slightly bend your knees.  Your heels should still be on the ground.  Then exhale as you lift your heels off the ground.  The goal is to keep the knees stationary as you isolate the muscles of your ankles.  Inhale as you slowly reach your heels to the ground and then exhale again as you lift the heels.  Execute this exercise approximately ten times.

Things to look for:
Once again, it is important to be sure that your weight is distributed equally on your feet and that your knees are tracking over your second and third toes. 
Also be sure that your posture is upright and that your spine is reaching towards the sky.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Day 3 - Calf Raises Straight Leg


Calf Raises Straight leg


This exercise is a great ankle strengthener.  It can also improve balance and is a great addition to the foot dexterity exercises of the previous posts.

To do this exercise you will start by standing with equal weight on both feet.  Your knees are long and you are standing in your tallest posture.  Take an inhale and as you exhale rise up on your toes.  Inhale as your release your heels to the ground and exhale lift your belly button and reach the top of your head towards the ceiling as you rise up onto the balls of your feet.  Repeat this exercise 8-10 times.

What to watch for:
Be sure that the weight of your body lines up with your second and third toe.
You want your ankles to be centered over the second and third toe at the top of the calf raise.
As you exhale imagine lifting your belly muscles up and in.
Be aware of your posture during this exercise try to make your spine as long as possible as you rise up, and keep that length as you lower down.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 2 - The Great Toe Pick Up

The Great Toe Pick Up





This exercise is intended to improve dexterity and control in the foot.  It strengthens the intrinsic muscles of the foot between each of the foot bones.  These muscles aid in balance and control of the foot. 
For this exercise you will need some small objects and a bucket.  Variance in the size and shape of the objects will help make the exercise manageable and more fun.  At The Pilates Studio everyone loves to grab on to the scaly tiny toy Dinosaur
video
To do this exercise pour the small objects on to the floor and place the bucket next to them.  Then with your feet try to pick up each object and place it in the bucket.  This exercise is fun and is especially good for feet that spend a lot of time in shoes. 

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Welcome to The Pilates Studio's Exercise of the Day Blog

In this blog The Pilates Studio writes about one exercise a day.  These exercise will add variety to your home practice.  Some of the exercises are very similar; this way if one exercise feels repetitive you can change it just slightly the next day.  


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Day 1 - Rolling out The Bottom of the Feet





This exercise is intended to loosen the plantar fascia (The tissue on the bottom of the foot).  It can relieve foot soreness and pain, and it can even release the hamstrings!

To do this exercise you will need a spiky ball.  Place the ball on the floor, and place your foot on the ball, and begin rolling your foot back and forth on the ball.   This is a great way to release the soft tissue on the bottom of your foot.  It can increase flexibility and improve dexterity and strength in the foot.  It feels great and can help maintain the pliable healthy feet we all want.