Pilates Exercises for Flat Feet

Are you ready to work out your feet and lift the arches? A few targeted exercises can help you strengthen your feet, lift the arches, and improve the way you move!

Flat feet, or fallen arches, can impact the way we move and the overall health of our feet. This common condition occurs when the arches of the feet collapse, leading to the entire sole of the foot coming into contact with the ground. In the world of Pilates, where the feet also have a “core,” we explore exercises that not only strengthen but also bring awareness to the intricate muscles supporting our arches.

Understanding Flat Feet:
Flat feet can result from various factors, including genetics, injury, or muscle weakness. The arches of the feet play a crucial role in weight distribution and shock absorption during movement. Collapsing these arches can lead to instability, overpronation, and discomfort.

The Role of Overpronation:
Overpronation, the inward tilting of the calcaneus, is a potential consequence of flat feet and a primary cause. This inward tilt compromises the structure of the arches, contributing to their collapse. Pilates provides a holistic approach to addressing flat feet’ symptoms and root causes.

Two Approaches to Flat Feet:
Addressing flat feet involves two primary considerations, depending on the severity of the condition:

  1. Intrinsic Muscle Strengthening:
    Utilize exercises like the towel or rope exercise to target the intrinsic muscles of the foot.
    These exercises aim to enhance the strength and coordination of the smaller muscles, providing essential support to the arches.
  2. Posterior Tibialis Strengthening:
    Focus on exercises like the heel raises with inversion to strengthen the posterior tibialis muscle.
    Improving the position of the heel on the ground is crucial for promoting proper arch support and alignment.

Consistency is Key:
Consistent engagement in these Pilates exercises is essential for addressing flat feet. By strengthening both the intrinsic muscles of the foot and the posterior tibialis, individuals can work towards lifting their arches and fostering better foot mechanics.

The exercises taught in the video are:
Shake your foot – to warm up.
Towel exercise – to strengthen the foot core and lift the arch.
Rope exercise – to strengthen the foot core and lift the arch.
Foot positioning – to mechanically lift the arch of the foot.
Tibialis posterior reinforcement – to strengthen the foot core and lift the arch.
2×4 – for balance and to integrate the correct foot position.


Ilaria Cavagna is the founder and CEO of FEET-NESS™. Skilled trainer and Pilates instructor, Ilaria is based in NYC, teaches on Pilates Anytime, Zoom, and travels worldwide teaching seminars for trainers of Pilates, ELDOA™, SOMA-TRAINING and of course FEET-NESS™ ITP. www.feet-ness.com IG @feetness_edu

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