Having a slab of muscle on your body is one of the strongest defenses you can have against the aging process. Some of the benefits of muscular strength and endurance are reducing the risk of injury, helping keep a healthy body weight, and leading to stronger muscles and bones. When you plan a fitness routine, most people consider all the major muscle groups. There are 6 main muscle groups which include:
Often, you’ll find that athletes combine muscle groups when they train. For example, on day 1, you train your chest and back; on day 2, train your arms and shoulders; and on day 3, you train your legs and glutes. They also typically weave in a good abdominal workout throughout the week or along with one of the other major muscle group combinations. It seems obvious to focus on all these large major muscle groups when hitting the gym. Targeting the biggest muscles in a single workout gives a huge return on investment, but how often do you hear about training your toes?
Yes. To completely answer this question, it makes sense to think of the toes and your feet as a unified force. The muscles in the feet are essential in both the balance and posture of the lower body. You may not have thought about “foot posture,” but just like posture in the back, poor posture in the foot can lead to pain and possible injury up the kinetic chain. Strong feet are important to stabilize the posterior chain from the bottom up.
Exercise for your feet, including your toes, can help you gain strength, mobility, and flexibility in your feet. Strengthening your feet can be just as rewarding as strengthening another part of the body.
Toe grip strength is related to both gait speed and the ability to balance on one leg. Toe grip also plays an important role in controlling fall-related lower limb movements. Muscles in the toes weaken over our lifetime, so they require a simple strengthening program tailored to your feet to keep the strength, mobility, and flexibility in your toes and feet. It takes just a 3% increase in toe strength to reduce your risk of falling by twenty percent.
Toe grip strength can be increased by training. While there are several exercises you can do to increase your toe grip strength, here are two simple exercises that you can incorporate into your daily routine.
How to do a toe grip strength exercise:
How to do a toe flexion (good for the toe joints):
Note: this should not be painful; if it is, reduce the pressure you apply and seek medical advice if the pain persists.
Just as with your toe grip, a strong hand grip can make you more resilient to injuries. A strong grip puts the body on alert to avoid injury. Muscles and connective tissues that are strengthened are more injury-resistant, and if an injury does happen, stronger tissue typically recovers faster. Another important fact is that your hand grip strength is a good predictor of mobility and frailty later in life. So, while grip strength doesn’t necessarily help with balance issues and a potential fall, a strong grip strength indicates a reserve capacity in muscle groups all over the body that can help prevent a lack of mobility and age-related muscle weakness.
Underuse of your hands and grip is one reason a person loses grip strength over time. As with every other muscle in the body, these muscles weaken when we’re not using them or simply not using them as often. For more information on how to increase grip strength, along with exercises that you can do at home, read Tips On How To Increase Grip Strength.
As stated in the article above, “A strong grip isn’t just good for health; it can lead us to experience greater independence as we age.”
Just like you can’t train your toes without training your feet, grip strength is directly related to the strengthening of your hands and forearms. Strengthening your forearms also increases grip strength, which is related to upper body strength. To learn how to train these small but important muscles together, read The Best Equipment For Forearm Exercises for 3 simple how-to exercises to increase forearm, hand, and grip strength.
It can be easy to neglect the small muscles in our body that might seem less significant or don’t play a major role in our health. The importance of our grip, from both the toes and the hands, is incredibly important to our overall health and well-being. Strong feet, toes, hands, and finger grip lead to better strength and balance of our entire body.