How to Improve Your Toe Dexterity and Foot Strength

*Updated 6/11/18
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Introduction

In this article, you will learn a three-step method to improve your toe dexterity and foot strength.

Your hands and your feet anatomically are strikingly similar. To have a proper functioning hand and wrist, you need to have movement in your fingers and the ability to control that movement.

Similarly, to have a proper functioning foot and ankle, you need to have mobility in your toes and the ability to control those movements.

Let's look at the biggest things you can do to work on improving your feet.

Need more hip and low back mobility? Start with Day 1 of our Hip/Low Back Mobility Program for free:

Improving Your Feet

The three different motions you will learn in this article are:

1. Big toe dorsiflexion and lesser toe plantar flexion
2. Big toe plantar flexion and lesser toe dorsiflexion
3. Splaying the toes

1. Big toe dorsiflexion and lesser toe plantar flexion

For this drill, the goal is to elevate the big toe toward the shin (dorsiflexion of the big toe) and press the smaller toes into the ground (plantar flexion of the small toes).

If you are having trouble doing this without assistance, use your hands to assist the motion by using one hand to elevate your big toe and use the other hand to press the smaller toes into the ground.

Next, try to hold that position using the muscles of your feet and use this as a starting point.

2. Big toe plantar flexion and lesser toe dorsiflexion

For this drill, the goal is to press the big toe into the ground and elevate the smaller toes (dorsiflexion of the small toes).

If you are having trouble doing this without assistance, use your hands to assist the motion by using one hand to press your big toe into the ground and use the other hand to elevate the smaller toes.

Next, try to hold that position using the muscles of your feet and use this as a starting point.

3. Splaying the toes

In this drill, we are trying to splay the toes apart, creating as much room between the those as possible.

This is typically the most challenging of the three movements for people.

If you are having trouble performing this, you can try two things to help:

1. Interlock your fingers with your toes to create space
2. Buy and use toe spacers to help improve splay mobility

Why this is Important

As demonstrated in the photos in this section, you can see there are many blood vessels, nerves, and muscles in the feet.

If you are unable to splay your toes, you arguably will not be able to create as much space between the toes for optimal blood flow and nerve function.

To keep your body healthy, good circulation is critical. If you can't create space between the toes, your circulation won't be as good as it could be.

Summary

To keep your joints healthy, moving them frequently through a full range of motion helps to nurture the surface of the joint with the nutrients in synovial fluid. The more range of motion you have and the more frequently you move through that range of motion, the more nourished your joint surfaces will be.

Your feet take a beating. They are the lowest part of your body, which means your entire body weight goes through your feet constantly. When you are standing, your feet are the most loaded segment of your body.

Give them some love!

Other Things You Can Try

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