There’s nothing worse than trying to go about your daily activities and your knee suddenly feels swollen and stiff. Your foot is enduring more pain every step you take, and your hip suddenly locked up. Sound familiar?
Foot, knee, and hip pain are all super common—and usually, if you have one, you have all three. Foot, heel, or ankle pain can cause your posture to be compromised, and therefore lead to knee and hip problems. And that can really put a damper on doing simple, everyday things like grocery shopping, cooking, exercising, you name it.
While you should certainly visit your doctor if you’re experiencing any one of foot, knee, or hip pain, there are lots of exercises you can do in the mean time to help soothe some of the pain and strengthen these areas on your body. Here are six that can be done quickly and easily, and in the comfort of your own home:
Heel raises: strengthen ankles and knees
Stand behind a chair or anything hip level so you can balance on it. Then curl one of your legs behind you so your heel is going towards your bum. As you’re raising your leg, lift your heel on the other leg on the ground so that you’re on your toes. Then put your heel back on the floor. Repeat this 10-20 times on each leg.
Toe trotting: strengthens calves and balls of feet
This one is just as it sounds—walk around on your toes at a faster-than-usual-pace. You can walk like this as long as you want, but start off with five minutes, then go to 10 and so on. It helps if you’re multitasking—like walking like this when cleaning the house or answering emails on your phone.
Toe curls: strengthens your feet and toes
Just like the title suggests, this exercise requires you to simply curl your toes. That’s it—just curl them inwards towards the heel of your foot. Out and in, out and in. You can even make it a game by putting items on the floor for you grab with your toes, like a towel or a hairbrush.
Ankle rotation: strengthens ankles
Sit down on a chair and lift one of your legs off the ground. Begin rotating that foot clockwise and do that about 10 times. Then switch to counter-clockwise and go around 10 times.
Resistance band pulls: strengthens calf muscles
Secure a resistance band around something firm—your couch or TV stand perhaps. Then slide one of your legs under the other, keeping your knee slightly bent. Slip the foot on top into the resistance band and slowly pull the band towards you with that foot. Repeat 10-20 times on each leg. (This one sounds a bit complicated, but feels so good on your feet and calves!)
Ball steps: strengthens the balls of your feet
Grab a tennis or softball and place it under your foot (tip: sitting down might make this easier). Push your foot down on the ball and place all your weight on it. Move your foot around for a semi self-massage.
These exercises are so easy, but are so great for the entire lower half of your body! Which will you try out first?