Painful Feet When You Lift Weights? Balance And Strengthen Your Core Muscles And Feet

If you experience pain in your feet every time you lift weights, take time to balance and strengthen your core muscles and feet. The bones in your feet and lower legs bear a great deal of body weight when perform active exercises. If you repeatedly place too much stress on these body areas because your core muscles are too weak to stabilize your body, you can experience a number of injuries, including bone fractures and soft tissue sprains and tears. Bone fractures and tissue injuries require treatment from a podiatrist or orthopedic specialist to repair. To avoid unnecessary injuries and protect your feet, learn why it's important to balance and strengthen your core and feet.

Why Do You Need a Strong Core to Lift Weights?

Weight training is one of the best ways to torch calories and get in shape, especially if you use heavy equipment to do so. Weight-lifting requires you to use multiple muscles in your core to perform squats, overhead arm presses, deadlifts, and other types of weight training exercises that require you to balance on your legs and feet. But if you lose strength in your core muscles, you can lean too far forward or backward, which places stress on the balls of your feet, heels, knees, and toes.

Many of the muscles in your core, or midsection, can weaken from childbirth, illness, obesity, or poor posture. For instance, a number of adults lose strength in their back muscles when they weigh more than they should. Not only does the extra weight cause problems for the back region, it also stresses the joints, bones and muscles of the feet until they lose strength and stability. Your feet may not have the ability to support your body weight or the weight of your equipment.

Strengthening and balancing your core and feet may help you overcome issues like those mentioned above.

How Do You Create a Strong Core and Feet?

Creating a strong, balanced core begins with learning how to breathe properly before and during exercise. A number of sources recommend or advise you to exhale when you lift weights and inhale when you lower them. The oxygen you inhale helps blood circulate to your muscles to keep them healthy. The proper breathing technique helps you tighten and stabilize your core muscles, which reduces injuries in your body.

To help you learn to breathe correctly during exercise and strengthen your core, follow the tips below:

  1. Sit in a comfortable chair with your upper body slightly leaning forward. Don't straighten out your back completely to avoid placing strain on your pelvis and lower back.
  2. Lower your shoulders until they feel relaxed and loose.
  3. Focus your eyes on an object directly in front of you to keep the muscles in your head and neck relaxed.
  4. Position your feet so that they lie flat on the floor. You want to create a strong base for your lower body. If you can't keep your feet flat, lower or change the chair until you can place both feet flat on the floor.
  5. Place the palms of your hands on the tops of your thighs and relax your arms.
  6. Take in a slow breath as you tighten your abdominal muscles. You should feel your chest rise and core muscles decrease in size.
  7. Hold the breath for 3 seconds, then slowly exhale. Keep your core muscles tight as you exhale to strengthen them.
  8. Repeat the exercise for 10 minutes.

After you complete the breathing exercise above, stand up from your chair, then follow the steps below to balance your core and strengthen your feet: 

  1. Stand with your upper body slightly leaning forward. Relax your shoulders, then slowly inhale and tighten your core.
  2. Keep your core muscles tight and arms down by your sides or on your hips to maintain your balance.
  3. Exhale, then lift your left foot about 2 inches from the floor. Inhale and exhale slowly as you gently flex your foot back and forth.
  4. Lower your left foot, then perform steps 2-5 with your right foot.
  5. Practice the exercise for 10 minutes.

Perform both exercises above at least four times a week for the best results. As your core muscles become stronger, you may notice less pain in your feet when you lift weights. Your body will stay in the proper alignment during your sessions, which reduces stress on your feet.

If you don't see a difference in your foot pain after three weeks, contact a podiatrist or clinic such as Advanced Foot Clinic.