There are 19 muscles contained within each of your feet. Of these 19 intrinsic muscles, 18 of them connect to the toes. We spend most of our life in shoes where our toes cannot move freely and are not required to stabilize the foot. This lack of use causes these muscles to become weak. In addition, our choice of shoes can add more stress to these muscles by not allowing them to function properly. This makes it increasingly more important to exercise your toes. Strong toes help to strengthen your entire foot and prevent toe deformities such as hammer toes, claw toes, and mallet toes. The following exercises can be used to strengthen your foot and toes. These are useful for people already suffering from toe deformities and those looking to prevent such things.
Place a small towel on the floor in front of you while sitting down. Now using only your toes pick up the towel and bring it closer. Repeat this exercise 5 times. You can increase the resistance by placing a weight at the end of the towel.
Place 10-20 marbles on the floor. Using only your toes, pick up one at a time and put each marble in a bowl. This exercise also helps those with pain in the ball of the foot.
Place a thick rubber band around all of your toes. Next, try to spread your toes as far apart as possible. Hold each attempt for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
Place small corks or something similar between your toes. Next, squeeze your toes together and hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times.
Any chance you get, take off your shoes and walk in the sand. This will massage and strengthen your toes and feet.