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The short foot exercise is recommended by postural expert Vladimir Janda in his book “Muscle Function Testing,” to build strength, stability and endurance in the muscles and tendons that support the arch.

THE MOVE

SHORT FOOT EXERCISE

Sit with good posture in a sturdy chair with both feet on the floor, your toes facing straight forward, and your knees bent to 90 degrees. Inhale, contract the muscles on the bottom of your right foot and lower legs to raise the arch of your foot without curling your toes. This position is called the short foot position. Hold this isometric muscle contraction for six seconds, then exhale and relax. Turn your lower leg slightly outward, inhale and again come to the short foot position. Hold for six seconds, exhale and relax.

Next turn your lower leg inward, and perform another isometric contraction for six seconds. Repeat the identical series of exercises with your left foot. Reposition your feet an inch farther away from the chair, and perform repetitions in the straight, outward and inward ankle positions with both feet. After each series, inch your foot forward until you perform a total of five series with each foot. Sliding your feet farther away from the chair each rep works the muscles at slightly different angles.

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