Known also as toe curls the towel curl is a strength training exercise that works your feet and toes and helps improve your balance and foot strength.
The exercise can be performed at any place as long as you have a material you can scrunch with your feet and a flat surface.
HOW TO DO TOWEL CURLS
Required equipment: A towel or a piece of fabric your toes can scrunch.
- Stand upright with a neutral back and neck with your feet shoulder-width apart. Smoothen out the towel and place it about two inches in front of your left foot.
- Make sure that your feet and legs are parallel to each other with your toes pointing ahead of you. This is your starting point.
- Move your heel onto the towel and flex your foot back as you lift your toes.
- Ensure your heel stays in place on the towel and reach out with your toes, evenly stretching on both sides and the middle part of your foot to get your toes to land on the towel as far out as you can reach them.
- Keep your heel planted and pull the towel towards your body by scooping it with your toes and the arch in your foot. This is one rep.
- Use all of your toes to try and create a deep dome with the arch in your feet. It is expected that you will only be able to move a little bit of the towel each time you extend your toes and arch them back.
- Repeat this motion for ten reps on each leg in a set of two taking a thirty-second break in between each leg switch.
Do not place the towel too far out or you will not be able to fully activate the muscles in your feet. Thus, reducing progress.
WHAT MUSCLES DO TOWEL CURLS WORK?
Towel curls tear down and repair the flexor muscles of the toes and feet namely your flexor digitorium longus making it stronger and more elastic.
BENEFITS OF DOING TOWE CURLS
HELPS REDUCE FOOT PAIN
The exercise helps to strengthen the underside of your feet which undergoes a lot of pressure and strain throughout your normal day to day activities.
This may lead to the occurrence of plantar fasciitis which is the swelling of the plantar fascia (the tissue in the foot used during walking). Strengthening this tissue enables it to endure much more and prevents the occurrence of this condition.
HELPS IMPROVE FLEXIBILITY
Towel curls stretch your feet’ flexor muscles, over time this improves your feet’ range of motion and helps keep them limber.
This not only reduces your chances of getting hurt but also will allow your feet muscles to be able to provide better support and protection for your feet.
IMPROVES TOE AND FOOT STRENGTH.
This will improve your athletic performance in that having stronger feet and toes improves your acceleration if you are a field or track athlete and also your explosive power which proves to be beneficial for many athletes.
ALTERNATIVES TO DOING TOWEL CURLS
This exercise works the muscle that runs from your heel into your calves called the Achilles tendon.
Achilles stretch helps to keep this muscle limber and strong this would prevent foot ankle and leg pain.
How to do Achilles stretch:
Equipment required: A sturdy chair.
- Place your chair against the wall with its backrest facing you and ensure it is barely movable.
- Stand upright with your feet hip-width apart facing the chair. Outstretch your arms and place your palms on the backrest of the chair.
- Place your right foot behind you with the knee straight and bend your left knee. Adjust your stance as necessary until both your heels are planted on the floor.
- Lean forward slowly, bending at your hips, until you feel a stretch in your calf muscles and Achilles tendon.
- To feel the stretch further across your calf, bend your knees back slightly and push your hips forward a bit more.
- When you reach the point where you feel the effect of the stretch most hold that position for roughly thirty seconds.
- Repeat this motion for ten reps then switch to the other leg and repeat this in a set of two.
Remember to not push your hips too far for this might cause injury in overstretching your lower body.
BIG TOE PRESSDOWN
This exercise strengthens the muscles of your big toe that play a vital role to arch support in your feet.
How to do big toe press-downs:
Required equipment: a chair
- Sit down on the chair with your back upright and your chest facing outwards. Have your feet hip-width apart.
- Keep your heel planted to the ground and raise all your toes and spread them as far out as you can.
- Make sure they all remain spread, slowly return them to the floor. Arch the sole of your feet as you return them to the floor.
- Slightly tense up your butt muscles and use them to lift the arches of your feet. Feel the weight distributed across the balls of your feet, to the outside and on your heels.
- Keep your arches raised and push down into your big toe. Hold this position for ten seconds remembering to breathe normally and then release.
- Repeat this five times for each leg for three sets.
MISTAKES TO AVOID WHILE DOING TOWEL CURLS
NOT FIRMLY PLANTING YOUR HEEL
If you do not keep your heel firmly planted on the floor you will lose most of the benefits you attain from the exercise.
This might occur if you are moving your heels along with your toes.
It is important to keep your core braced your shoulder back and your arms relaxed at the sides of your hips.
When sitting ensure that your knees are bent at ninety degrees. If not you might lead yourself to develop lower back pains and injuries.
Towel curls are a simple exercise in anyone can grasp and it only requires an easily foldable piece of cloth to perform making it very convenient.
It is a great exercise to add to your workout regime if you want to strengthen your feet and improve your balance.