The past weeks we have been showing you exercises to help you prevent or halt the development of bunions. This week we end the series of simple exercises with a combination of a few of the previous ones rolled into one. You will need your rubber band and a few minutes of your time each day to practice in order for the results to show.

The first thing you need to do is give your feet and toes space by loosening them up through the fingers between the toes handshake exercise. If you can’t remember this exercise jump to the video in the previous blogpost here.

Wiggle the toes a bit to create the feel for your toes and become aware of them as well as stimulate blood flow to the feet and toes.

Then place your rubber band around the both big toes placing the feet parallel on the floor. Keep an equal pressure on the ball mount of the big toes, the one under the little toes as well as the inside and outside of the heels. The feet should both be fully grounded without the slightest hint of inversion.

If you have forgotten where all the different parts of the foot named in this post are jump back the the anatomy section to read up on it again.

Begin with lifting and extending the big toes several times. You might feel the muscle that runs from the inner heel through the inner arch starting to tire. (The abductor hallucis)

To further the strengthening of the whole feet as well as building and stabilising healthy arches and strengthening the outer ankles and shins to help the knees especially if you have fallen arches we will give you this final set of toe exercises.

With the feet parallel and all toes still grounded rats only the little toes and extend them out and down to the floor as if pushing a button infant of the little toes.

And to finalise the exercise keep your middle toes lifted with the toes spread and extend the big and little toes forward and down towards the floor.

This will help you build the arch at the front of your foot, the transverse arch and will strongly work on both the inner and outer edges of the feet. This in effect will energise and balance the inner and outer arches of your feet.

Think of this last exercise as the realignment of the foundation of your body. The feet can be seen as your foundation to build a healthy aligned body on. Aligning the corners of that foundation, big toe mound, little toe mound, inner heel and outer heel, will assist in improving the functions of the feet. Forward walking, standing poses, balancing and giving you a healthier hip and knee alignment.

Incorporate these toe exercises, without the rubber band, into many of your yoga poses to increase both the health of your arches and the strength of your foundation, with added benefits to your knees and hips.

The best thing is that all of this will help slow or even halt the progress of bunions.

In the case of advanced bunions however these exercises might not overcome the diversion of the big toes. If when you lift the big toes in these exercises and they pull further sideways rather than draw more parallel surgery might be necessary. Consult your doctor if the exercises have this effect.

Hopefully you will rediscover your foundation and learn to lift your arches and strengthen your feet.

Have you found this series helpful in any way? Did you discover an effect not described? Leave your comment or questions below and we will address those in future articles.