Your Best Foot Forward

August 6, 2009

By Kathryn Ross-Nash

Bunions, fallen arches, curled-up toes, plantar fasciitis and the rest of your foot disorders: watch out, ’cause there’s an old tool in town. It’s called the Foot Corrector, and it has been reforming and refreshing tired, achy feet for decades. The little device that looks like what you might find in a shoe store to measure your feet really gets the circulation going, courtesy of the genius of Joseph H. Pilates. Whether you’re beginning from the bottom up (at the start of a lesson) or using the Foot Corrector as a sweet ending the choice is yours–either way, you win.

The Foot Corrector offers a multitude of benefits. For thousands of years people around the world have enjoyed the benefits of Reflexology. Well, the Foot Corrector takes it a step further by increasing ankle stability, flexibility, alignment and propulsion. It uses the pressure of the pedal to massage the bottom of the foot and increase circulation. This massaging action also helps to break up knots deep in the foot. The lateral movement of the pedal detects if the user’s alignment is imbalanced and allows you to find where your correct alignment is. The Foot Corrector will develop ankle stability and flexibility through isolation. It is often used to help develop speed for an athlete and the arch jump of the dancer. At the end of the day, it just plain feels great!

Here is my favorite exercise to become refreshed and revitalized from the bottom up.

If you do not have a Foot Corrector, fear not: you can get almost-similar results using a tennis ball or other smallish squishy ball.

Body Position: Front leg bent and back leg straight. Arms behind your head, palm on palm. Be sure to scoop your tummy and keep your box square and you shift your weight onto the pedal.

Begin with your heel on the back edge and ball on the pedal.

Press the pedal and keeping the pedal straight and pressure even, slide the foot over the pedal.

Slide from the ball of the foot to the arch.

Then slide from the arch to the heel. Remember to keep the pedal straight and pressure even.

Return by reversing the slide and repeat 5-10 times.

Note: A sock is recommended to increase the slide.