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Don’t Say I Didn’t Toe’d You About It: Big Toe Strength for More Power

Yes I went there for this title. But lets get into it really quickly.

Competitive athletes are always looking for new ways to improve their performance on the field or court. One area that is often overlooked when it comes to improving athletic performance is the strength of the big toe. This small digit can play a crucial role in an athlete’s ability to sprint faster and jump higher. In this blog post, we will dive into the science behind why the big toe matters and discuss some simple exercises that athletes can perform to strengthen this important muscle.

When we run or jump, the big toe plays a critical role in helping to propel our body forward. It acts as a hinge between the foot and the ground and is responsible for generating a significant amount of force. If the big toe is weak, it can limit an athlete’s ability to push off the ground with enough force to accelerate quickly or jump high.

Additionally, studies have shown that athletes with stronger big toes have faster sprint times and higher vertical jump heights than those with weaker toes.

This is because the big toe helps to stabilize the foot and ankle, which can improve an athlete’s ability to transfer force from the lower body to the ground.

So, how can athletes strengthen their big toes? One simple exercise is toe curls. This involves placing a towel on the ground and using the toes to scrunch it up toward the ball of the foot. Another exercise is seated toe raises, where the athlete sits in a chair and lifts their toes off the ground, holding for a few seconds before lowering back down.

Wearing shoes with a wide toe box can also help to improve big toe strength as it allows the toes to splay out and engage the muscles more effectively. Additionally, performing barefoot exercises, such as walking on sand or grass, can help to strengthen the toes and foot muscles.

If you want to be even more intentional, there are plenty of manual exercises that you can do to strengthen your big toe, like placing variable resistance against big toe range of motion using your fingers.

Let’s note that  it’s not just athletes who  benefit from improving big toe strength. ANYONE who engages in regular physical activity, such as gym going, recreational running, walking, BABY boomers, can see improvements in their overall athletic and simple daily performance by focusing on the strength of their big toe.

So, having strong toes can greatly enhance your athletic performance and grant you a competitive edge. From improved running and sprinting form to more powerful push-offs with jumps, even for pitchers, the physical benefits are pretty clear. But how intentional are you about actually training your toes?

If you answered “not really.” Then you can go ahead and join the majority of athletes and coaches who don’t. The positive thing is, is that now you know. Take a few minutes during your next training cycle to begin working out that big toe. Have metrics in place on your speed or jumping beforehand to see how it improves after 8 weeks!