Flat feet? How to strengthen your feet, lower legs, and improve your balance and focus (at the same time)

I’ve got one foot that’s flatter than the other. It’s not as flat as my dad’s feet where the arch is totally flattened out, but enough.

When I was a kid the doctor said I had “flexible flat feet”…

And gave me some orthotics, but those don’t help and you can’t do anything athletic in them.

And recently I was reading some of the things problems and disadvantages about having flat feet.

  • knee problems (have had several knee injuries)
  • hip and back problems
  • postural problems
  • kyphosis or lordosis

So since about 6 months ago I’ve been working on rehabbing a knee injury (torn meniscus).

And one thing you can do is strengthen the surrounding muscles. Ironically the knee that I tore was on the flatter foot side. It’s weird my lower right leg and foot is weaker than my left, but my upper right leg is stronger than my left…

Have asymmetry in your body?

Anyways here’s a yoga video I made that will help your lower legs (feet, ankles, calves), balance and focus. Also there’s a pose in there where I bend forward that also will work your hamstrings and glutes (1 side at a time).

If you do this 5-10 minutes a day everyday you will notice a difference because I have.

I’ve always practiced yoga – well for 20 years, but about 1-2 months ago I started to set a timer for 10 minutes for the second half of my yoga routine and just focus on one legged balancing exercises.

You’ll feel it in your feet.

I am sure you will notice a difference in how your feet feel in a week. The benefits of doing poses like this vs. normal exercises such as curling a towel with your toes is that it’s more engaging for your body and mind.

You’ll use your whole lower leg, improve your balance and focus at the same time. If you just do towel exercises, well I think they are boring and they are kind of isolated – at least the ones I’ve seen.

Try.

My feet feel stronger from doing this and I noticed I can stand still and type on my computer for longer periods of time.

My feet feel more like they are gripping the floor vs. being flattened out.

That video above I made near a park (Momochi seaside park) near my home in Fukuoka. It was a bit rainy and windy that day. They have some big stones that you can sit or lie on and that was what I was standing on.

Occasionally I will go and do yoga there. It’s nice the ocean meets the river there.

5-10 minutes?

What if my feet get tired? They will. Then just switch sides. I focus more on my right side since that is the weaker side.

How can you balance?

Focus on a point in front of you. This is harder outside since there is more space. But if you are inside just find a point on the wall or something in front of you.

And focus on your breathing.

Last words…

  • Will walking in the beach sand help? Somewhat, not as much as I thought, but if you do it daily… Since I currently live near the beach for the last 30-40 days I would walk maybe a half of a mile in the dry beach sand barefooted. But the yoga exercises above are more efficient.
  • Will toe shoes help? Maybe a little, I’ve had a pair for maybe 4-5 years or so. Back when I was street performing I would wear them all the time or now in the summer sometimes.
  • Will doing toe raises help? Yes. Back in high school I used to do these a lot. I played basketball and wanted to be quick and able to jump. I think these strengthened my feet.
  • Will foam rolling help? Indirectly it could as the surrounding muscles may have an effect on your flat feet. I have been rolling on my tight IT bands, calves and glutes because I saw a few videos on Youtube that suggested tight muscles there and in your calves could cause you to be duck footed.
  • Will doing box jumps help? Yes. Box jumps are a good full lower body exercise. They will work your feet up to your glutes. I noticed my feet felt stronger when I was doing these.
  • Will doing squats help? No. Squats are primarily an upper leg and glute exercise. They don’t work your feet. Box jumps are a much better full lower body exercise that will work your feet+.
  • Will jumping rope help? Yes. Although it tends to other one of my knees.

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