oot And Heel Health: The Seated Heel Lift
The posture and alignment of the feet, heels, and ankles are quite important to maintaining optimum foot health. In order to walk and run in a healthy, efficient manner, the muscles in our lower legs and feet all need to be working properly. Stiffness or weakness in the feet and especially the ankles can lead to many serious problems. Potential issues include foot pain, knee pain, and even backache.
If you’d like to keep your feet in tip-top condition, learning how to perform a simple Seated Heel Lift can help you maintain proper alignment, flexibility, and strength. Running and even simple walking can subject our heels to significant stress, so it’s important to keep everything in the area healthy if we want to stay free of injury. The simple exercise described here will both help you strengthen your heels and also make you more generally aware of them when you’re in motion.
Begin by sitting in a chair. Take off your shoes and socks; watching your bare feet helps you see how the exercise works.
To learn the exercise, position a mirror in front of you so that you can easily see your feet without compromising your posture.
To begin, keep your knees and feet separated by the width of your hips with your toes pointed straight in front of you.
Now, look at your feet in the mirror. Can you see your heels?
If your feet fall into proper alignment, your heels should be directly behind your feet and thus not visible when your legs are straight.
Now, what happens when you consciously move your legs to hide your heels? Did you need to move your knees? Did you bring them together or further apart? Is your weight landing flat on your heels, or are you leaning onto the inside or outside of your feet?
Your goal here is to bring your heels directly behind your feet, hiding them from view, without moving the other parts of your leg. This can be tricky at first, and you’ll be surprised by how little attention you normally pay to your heels! This exercise is about building awareness as much as anything else. Once you see and understand where your legs and feet fall out of alignment, you’ll be better equipped to consciously adjust them.