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Preventing Falls With Toe Tapping

As I’ve mentioned before, preventing falls is a multi-faceted issue which requires a multi-faceted approach. This one article simply can not address all the issues and concerns, so please understand that this is just one aspect that we are addressing, for other tips and suggestions on how to prevent falling, click here.

Often, a fall occurs because of an initial stumble or trip. Sometimes, this stumble or trip happens because you didn’t lift your foot/toes up high enough to clear the object (stairs, curb, etc). As we age, we lose muscle (sarcopenia). An often overlooked muscle of the leg is the front of the shin which is responsible for lifting/picking your toes and forefoot up. The toe tap is a great exercise that can be done anywhere without any equipment to strengthen this muscle.

Preventing Falls-video

Toe Tapping Tips/Progressions:

  • Keep the working leg as straight as possible. You’ll want to start bending the knee.
  • As you tire, your range of motion (how high you’re lifting your toes) decreases. Focus on keeping as big of a toe tap as long as possible-ideally the entire time.
  • You’ll want to start with about 20-30 seconds of effort. Work your way up to 2-3 sets of 1 min.
  • Play around and have fun with it. Going to the music can be fun as you work to stay with the beat. Start with slower songs, and progress to something more lively!