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In last week’s post on “Happy Feet” we discussed some of the ways to keep those feet happy all day long. In today’s post, we outline a sequence of poses for those feet & toes!

Pair these feet and toe stretches with a daily activity, such as watching the news or catching up on your favorite blogs online.

Spread Toes: Separate and stretch toes apart from each other to help maintain spacing between your toes. The following methods provide a passive stretch:

  • Lace your fingers through your toes as if you’re holding hands with your feet.
  • Put your toes in those gel toe separators or foam pedicure toe holders.
  • Place a crayon between each toe!

Stretch Top of Toes & Foot: Yoga’s Virasana or Hero pose stretches the top of the feet and toes. To stretch toes while sitting in a chair or standing bend one knee to place the top of the foot onto the floor with your toes pointing back. Slide your foot forward to slowly curl the toes under for a deeper stretch. Don’t force the toes to curl. Gently hold & repeat with the other foot.

Stretch Bottom of Toes & Arch: Standing or Sitting in a chair lift your heel up and slide your foot back so pads of toes are in contact with the floor. To intensify stretch kneel down, lift the feet and place the pads of the toes on the floor. Slowly work towards sitting on your heels. This is a great but intense stretch, so Breathe!

Hands-On Stretching: If you prefer the hands on approach, one by one grab your toes and move each one gently up, down, in and out. Hold 5 seconds in each position.

Lift: Do In standing or sitting, keeping the balls of the feet on the floor. Lift your toes off the floor as high as you can & hold.

Separate: With toes lifted, spread them apart as far as you can & hold.

Place Down: Keeping your toes spread apart, place them back on the floor.

Curl: Curl your toes under and squeeze together.

Repeat: Lift – Separate – Place – Curl

Challenge: To improve the strength and agility of your toes try picking up small objects with your toes, such as crayons, pencils or marbles.

Some research suggests that sneaker padding may throw off alignment and cause sprains and strains. Learn more in this guide on 15 health benefits of barefoot running according to science, including 8 tips for beginners. Does the idea of your naked feet on city streets makes you a bit uneasy? A new crop of kicks brings you the best of both worlds: the arch-strengthening benefits of going barefoot and the protection from the elements. Check out some of these shoes that have been given a recent “make-under”.

Shoes shown, left to right:

Nike Free


Vibram Five Fingers

New Balance 101

For even more options for new styles that mimic the barefoot probation styles, try

Try out these stretches for your feet and toes today!

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