11. Ball Moving, Tip-Toe Walk and Toe-Pointing
The ball of the foot is the portion of the sole between the arch and the toes. This is a common area where people develop pain, known as metatarsalgia. Certain diseases like arthritis, diabetes, and obesity may worsen the pain. Building up the balls of the feet with different exercises not only strengthens the arches but improves the ligaments in the feet.
You can feel the metatarsal bone by touching your toe and following the bone down the sole. Once you’re past the bone of the toe, you come to the metatarsal bone. When the metatarsal bones are injured or inflamed, they can cause intense pain in the ball of the foot. To relax and train the balls of your feet, find a ball, like a tennis ball or another ball of a similar size. Sit on a chair and place your foot on the ball. Slowly move the ball with your foot toward your toes and then backward.
Tip-toe walk: Walking on the tips of your toes helps to build up the balls of the feet and strengthen your arches. It can help to reduce the effects of flat feet. Stand in place on your tip toes for about 50 seconds. Now walk forward, backward and sideways on tiptoes, gradually increasing the duration. Do these exercises every second day until your foot strength improves, and you can do them daily.
Range of motion: Moving your feet through a range of motion builds up the balls of the feet. Sit on a high stool so that your legs hang and your feet are off the floor. Point your toes down and try to draw your full name, using your big toe as your pencil. Do this with one foot and then the other.