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Ibiza Pilates: point and flex (week 4)

Ibiza Pilates this weeks shows us that pointing and flexing your feet and ankles correctly can help minimise a range of injuries, including lower back issues.

The different ways we use, or misuse our feet can create life-long foot and ankle problems and be a contributing factor to other aches, pains, and injuries.

Stiff ankles and tight calves can lead to lower back problems. Ibiza Pilates recommends including pointing and flexing exercises into your daily life as it's a great way to look after your feet, avoid problems with your lower back and make a huge improvement to your posture.

By avoiding "bad" habits.....pointing and flexing of the foot can reduce the risk of injuries, alleviate chronic foot pain problems, and ensure that you are properly stretching and strengthening the ankle, heel and arches to keep your feet healthy.

When the foot and calf muscles are too tight, movement is restricted and more stress is placed on muscle, fascia and tendons which can contribute to Achilles tendon problems, heel pain and plantar fasciitis and many more.

If muscles are weak, especially along the soles of the feet, there is a good chance that as soon as we start to contract a foot muscle it will cramp or lock up in a spasm! Try these exercises and hopefully you will notice a huge difference. Pointing and flexing the feet can be done anywhere! Every time you sit you can do these exercises and as you build up balance you can try it standing up.

Ibiza Pilates recommends starting with some support, so use a wall to begin with until your balance is good enough to stand without help.

EXERCISE from Ibiza Pilates:

POINT AND FLEX standing up

Make sure your posture is correct (previous article) and that you are not leaning into the's only there if you lose your balance.

Feet and legs are together.

Breathe in to prepare and lengthen the body and as you breathe out bring the leg out to as far as you feel comfortable (whether just off the floor or higher) and point the foot.

When you point, try to lead by lengthening the top of the arch and foot out and away from the body. Avoid pointing by pulling the heel back towards you.

Breathe in and flex the foot making sure you do not just lead with the toes but you push the heel out as far as you can so you feel a stretch.

Repeat 10 times with each leg.

PONT AND FLEX lying down

Lie on the floor and lift your leg up holding behind your thigh for support.

Repeat the same exercise as above.

Make sure you spine is in Neutral (previous article) when performing exercise.

Ibiza Pilates says that if you manage to get a calf stretch but also can feel a stretch along the back of your thigh (this would be the Hamstring muscles) it is even more important to be doubling up your efforts to practice this exercise daily to help improve your flexibility to keep your feet, legs, hips, and back healthy.

Love your feet!

Author of the Ibiza Pilates Series, Jacky Croad of Ibiza Pilates UK offers quality reformer and matwork Pilates at her private and friendly studio in Santa Gertrudis town. Jacky can also travel to your villa/yacht and teach up to 7 clients with all equipment. Call direct on 0034 636 479 159 or see website link above for more details

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