Exercises And Yoga For Flat Feet:
There are flat feet exercises for feet’s muscle strengthening which can help mitigate the impact of flat feet. The absence of arch in the feet causing the soles to touch the ground is called
Flat feet are more common than most of us would imagine. Also known as pes planus or the condition of fallen arches, a number of people may experience pain or suffer overuse injuries.
It is said that children with flat feet are usually slower when they run, as compared to their counterparts, and their natural jumping mechanism might not be as efficient. Eventually, people with flat feet run a high risk of early joint degeneration or early onset of arthritis. This might happen even in the 30s.
The development of the arch usually starts at 7 or 8 years of age. Sometimes, it is difficult to figure out whether your child really does have flat feet.
A simple test to find out whether your child has rigid or flexible flat feet is to make her stand on her toes. If an arch develops, the child has flexible flat feet, and is most likely to be problem-free (since it may disappear over time).
However, a small subset will have rigid flat feet. These children may be prone to frequent ankle sprains, aches, and tiredness in the feet. Such children must be closely examined for any underlying condition such as tarsal coalition (a bone connection problem) or neurological or muscular disorders.
Flat Feet Exercises:
Here are some flat feet exercises that may help to strengthen the muscles that support the foot.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart. Slowly lift your body up on to your toes, and hold for a few seconds.
- Now slowly lower yourself back to start and repeat the exercise 3-5 times daily.
Caution: Hold the position only as long as it’s comfortable. Do not stretch your feet too hard, especially when you are beginning to exercise.
Do not stretch your feet too hard, especially when you are beginning to exercise.
- Stand on the edge of a step, with the balls of your feet resting on the edge.
- Now, lower both your heels towards the lower step, so as to feel a slight stretch in your gastrocnemius, the muscle at the back of the lower part of your leg.
- Hold this stretch for at least 30 seconds; repeat thrice, daily.
Caution: Always use support — a railing or a wall — so you don’t lose balance.
Heel Chord Strengthening:
- Stand to face a wall and place your hands on the wall for support.
- Stand on your toes, and balance yourself. Now, turn your feet slightly towards the left (while still on your toes) and come back to position.
- Repeat towards the right side.
Caution: Begin by performing this stretch once or twice on both sides, and only gradually increase the duration and number of times you perform the exercise.
- Sit on a chair with a towel under your foot. Stretch your toes, followed by a curling movement to pull the towel towards you.
- All this time, your heel must be firmly placed on the ground.
- Repeat 3-5 times for both feet.
- Once you have mastered this, start placing low weights (200 gm to begin with) on the towels to further boost the strength of your toes.
Caution: Don’t load the towel with too much weight; make it a gradual process.
Yoga Asanas For Flat Foot | Yoga For Flat Feet:
Yoga for flat feet focuses on practices to stand properly and evenly on both feet. The practice starts from Tadasana (mountain pose), which is all about fixing from the root.
Standing postures are important as they work on the feet first. Seated and reclining postures help to work on the feet to retain the arch. In fact, one should always remember to stretch the sole of the feet while practicing every posture in these flat feet exercises.
1. Tadasana (Standing Pose):
This yoga for flat feet pose stretches the whole foot, especially the arch. It engages the thighs, activates the calf muscles and strengthens the knees.
It stretches and lengthens all the long muscles of the body, while also opening the spinal, shoulder and hip joints.
This pose strengthens the muscles of the neck, lower back, abdomen and pelvis. Lung capacity increases, and the respiratory muscles become firmer. Regular practice of this asana not only strengthens the body but also makes it flexible.
Tadasana looks like simple standing but there is a particular way to set every part of the body in the asana. Let’s get into detailed steps of tadasana.
At first, practice the tadasana with standing against the wall to maintain the correct posture, with hips towards the wall and the ankles a few inches away from it.
- Stand with the feet hip-distance apart grounding the feet. Lift the energy from the ground up towards the torso.
- Gently extend the spine maintaining natural curve, by tucking the tailbone down towards the earth and the pelvis in towards the body.
- Roll the shoulders up towards the ears and drop them down towards the hips. Focus on the breath.
- Inhale; raise the arms up towards the sides, with the shoulders touching the wall, and the palms facing forwards, stretching and extending the torso.
- Exhale; bring the arms down. Repeat 5 to 10 times; relax.
- Inhale; raise both the arms up towards the ceiling with the palms parallel, make sure the shoulders are pressing down towards the hips.
- Exhale; bring the arms down towards the body. Repeat 5 to 10 times; relax.
2. Adho Mukha Svanasana (Downward Facing Dog Pose):
This yoga for flat feet gives a good stretch in gastrocnemius. It also calms the mind, lengthens the spine and energizes the body.
Adho Mukha Svanasana Steps:
- Stand on your four limbs like a table with palms placed shoulder-width apart and toes placed hip-width apart parallelly.
- Exhale; lift the knees off the floor, legs straight and form an inverted V-shape pushing the body weight into the palms and hips up towards the ceiling.
- Keep neck neutral and body weight evenly distributed. Touch the ears to the inner arms and sink your hands into the ground.
- Stay in this position and take deep breaths.
Release the pose getting back to table pose bending your knees while exhaling.
3. Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose):
This yoga for flat feet stretches the entire inner line of the leg muscles till the feet. Also, Baddha Konasana is a classic pose in the asana practice as it benefits the entire body. Apart from being an excellent hip opener, it stimulates the abdominal organs, the ovaries, kidneys. It stimulates the heart and improves circulation.
Baddha Konasana (Bound Angle Pose) Steps:
- Sit with your legs straight in front of you. Lift the hips a bit off the floor and place a cushion under.
- Inhale; bend the legs towards the chest. Exhale; drop the right knee to the right and the left knee to the left and allow the souls to touch each other. Place the palms on the floor behind the hips and extend the spine by pressing on the palms.
- Hold this pose, breathing deeply for 10 breaths.
- Inhale; lift the palms and reach forward to hold the toes or the feet with both your hands.
- Exhale; bend the elbows on to the thighs and press them down towards the floor, feeling a stretch on the hips and the thighs. If the knees don’t touch the floor, do not force them as this is due to tight hips. Place a block or bolster under the knees to support them.
- Hold this pose for a few breaths; release.
4. Vrksasana (Tree Pose):
Vrksasana is a standing yoga pose in a tree pose. You have to balance the body on the single leg in this asana. This yoga for flat feet pose
Regular practice will slowly reveal what you are capable of becoming. A tree draws stability from its roots, allowing the trunk and branches to sustain through strong winds and rain. Similarly, we can learn to weather the storms in our lives by focussing our mind on the reserve of strength and peace from deep within us.
- Stand up on your feet ground to the floor.
- Tuck the tailbone down towards the earth and pelvis towards the body like an extension through the spine.
- Roll the shoulder back and drop back towards the hips.
- Focus on the breath.
- Shift all the body weight to left leg and lift the right bending the knee and place the foot on the crook of the left inner thigh (or a little lower to the crook).
- Join the palms in namaste position and place them on the waist.
- Set the gaze at a point and focus on the breath. Gradually increase to 10 breaths.
- Repeat the same on the other side.
Insoles For Flat Feet:
Along with exercises and yoga for flat feet, you can use accessories like insoles for immediate relief. Some with flat feet may also have shortened achilles tendon. Observing the feet and stretching the legs while standing; doing simple movements, such as raising the toes up and down, help stretch this tendon.