You may remember how much I believe in the importance of strong and functional feet---for your health, performance and injury prevention. If the link of your kinetic chain that connects you to the ground (your feet) doesn't work correctly, how can anything else work well? If there are dysfunctions in your feet, other muscles will have to compensate to create the correct movement and they will get overused and injury may (most probably will, sooner or later) happen.
Refresh your memory reading my previous article about the feet. I know it sounds boring to train your feet. But trust me, it is really (yes, REALLY) important. Here is an another simple exercise that you can do when you have to stand and wait somewhere and have nothing else to do:
- Stand on one leg, lift the other knee hip-high (so the thigh is parallel with the ground).
- Let the lower leg hang freely, and perform 20 foot circles in one direction, then 20 circles in the opposite direction.
- Make sure the knee and the lower leg don't move!!! If the muscles around your ankle or your feet don't function well, you will see that the knee wants to move, your lower leg is going all over the place and your circles are jerky and not circles at all.
- Work on it until it gets easy.
- Of course, switch sides and work both feet. If one side is much harder than the other, give it more attention and work it more often.
This exercise is also working the muscles in the standing leg: your feet, calves and the hip area---all important muscles for a functional movement, on the court and in life.
Work on your feet as often as you can and you will see huge changes in your life and athletic performance very soon. If you want to work more on foot strengthening, watch the attached video on how to learn to run barefoot.