Welcome back!  In part 1 of this blog, I talked about the peroneus longus/fibularis longus, but there’s another player involved.  It is the peroneus brevis.  From The Core Walking website:  “Both peroneus brevis and peroneus longus are plantar flexors — they step on the gas pedal of a car. And they are both involved in eversion or pronation of the foot—they roll from the outside to the inside. Peroneus brevis aids the successful roll from the outer foot to the inner foot in a good walking step and peroneus longus supports the transverse arch and helps to stabilize the first metatarsal bone against the ground when you push off to walk or run. If these muscles are weak or don’t function correctly the midfoot and the transverse arch will be unstable and unable to provide support to the inner arch of the foot..” Yes, please.  The science makes sense!

I am again reminded that the foundation of our bodies, our feet, is of paramount importance.  What happens here goes all the way up the body.  As a yoga teacher and functional movement educator, I’m on my feet all the time.  They need to be stable and strong.

With very little effort, which I find most people prefer, I was able to make a huge difference and feel so much better.

Below, watch my video explanation of the toerection.  And revisit part 1 of this blog to see the list of other movements I used in addition to the toerection.  Whatever you do, pay attention to your foundation. If your toe hurts or the side of your leg hurts, it doesn’t mean orthodics and/or surgery or medicine.  You are in charge your healing.  Investigate and find out if other options are available for self-care because they usually are.  As my teacher Jill Miller says, “You are a student of your body.”  Read her blogs.  She is the creator of Yoga Tune Up®.  You won’t be disappointed.  In fact, to all my fellow Yoga Tune Up® teachers, thank you for your knowledge and inspiration.  Read their blogs.  You won’t be disappointed.

I’m off to hokey pokey.


Enjoyed this article? Read Wearing Flip-Flops is Just a Big Flop, Especially for the Flexor Digitorum Longus

Terry Littlefield

Terry Littlefield, RYT-500, Integrated Yoga Tune Up® teacher, and long-time practitioner, is a passionate educator with a big sense of humor and an even bigger heart. Her classes are a blend of science and spirit, breath work and ball work (Yoga Tune Up® therapy balls, of course), movement and meditation. If you want to have fun and experience safe, functional movement within your yoga practice, she’s your yogi.

Leave a Reply

21 Comment threads
0 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
21 Comment authors

After 2 stress fractures in my foot I stopped wearing my orthotics which were given to me for arch support . My arches not need support, they needed movement and strengthening.. Katy Bowman has great foot book which should be read by everyone with feet.. WHOLE BODY BAREFOOT..

Karen McGovern

WishI could have accessed the video so that I could have a visual of what they are talking. The feet have so many muscles in the feet. The feet are so important and highly neglected. We all need to know the muscles that control our daily stroll.

Louise LeGouis

Thanks for a valuable post on this somewhat neglected but so foundational part of our body.

Gretchen Corbin

Terry, Thank you for this and the previous blog post on the feet (hokey pokey style). For many many years, I had been told that I pronate and need to wear arch supports and/or “motion control” running shoes. I’ve since transitioned to zero drop, zero arch support shoes but still have work to do to reactivate and strengthen the many muscles required for that natural arch lift and motion control. I appreciate your emphasis of the importance of healthy feet and that “what happens here goes all the way up the body” and that “the big toe affects everything up… Read more »

Kate Clark

My arches have fallen over the last several years, and I’ve been wondering what I can do to correct that. This is great – thank you! I’ll take a look at your previous article too.

Angela Yonkovich

This was so helpful! I’m in training right now I NYC and forgot my tennies. I have been walking everywhere with shoes and boots that don’t have any support. My big toe was bothering me just now after I returned to the hotel. I just tried this and I feel it helped! Thank you!


Very interesting, thank you for this post.

Rebecca Tamm

We put so much stress on our feet that they always end up getting neglected. Using the therapy balls wakes my feet up and has kept my plantar fasciitis at bay far better than anything else ever has.


Love this! I used to be religious about stretching my toes when I ran (I wear minimalist shoes), but I haven’t run since the fall, and I spent too much time in snowboard boots and climbing shoes this winter – I am horrified at how quickly I lost flexibility in my big toe! In addition to this one, I also did some rolling on the top and sides of my big toe – all will definitely become part of my routine!

Scott McKee

The importance of rolling out the feet should not be underestimated. They are the foundation of our bodies and take a lot of abuse. More importantly, we rarely take the time to focus on our feet and undo some of that abuse, so it accumulates, and the effects are felt all throughout the body. Thanks!


It’s amazing what a little rolling of your feet can do the fortify your standing poses. Thanks so much for the post.

Heather Longoria

Thanks for the tip on how to stretch out that big toe area. I don’t have much individual mobility in my toes yet, and this was a good way to isolate that movement. I recently did a “Grounding” focused yoga class, and we did a lot of work on the feet with the the Tune Up® balls. People loved it!! Our feet do so much work for us, and we don’t show them enough love. In fact, we often abuse them horribly. I’m all for Toe Love (and toe-rections!). 🙂

Lori Palmer

This exercise will be great for my paddle boarding students. Many complain of cramps in the feet in the beginning of the season and we need lots of toe awareness to balance on the boards. I love the simplicity of this exercise and that we will be able to do this quickly before paddling.

Katy Haldiman, MS, RN

I try to roll my feet daily. Even though I wear barefoot/minimal footwear as much as possible, I still benefit from the trigger point massage of therapy balls. I love your technique of isolating the muscles surrounding the big toe and forefoot. Great video!


Since spending 3 months in a cast after breaking my ankle I have enjoyed all the techniques I’ve learned through YTU, they have greatly assisted returning full ROM and function. Toerection will be a great addition.

Sue Kilpatrick

I have recently added this stretch to my morning routine. It is so awesome to walk with more stability in my feet and have a stronger base when standing. Thanks

Patricia Lamontagne

I don’t know why, but rolling the balls under my feet is probably the technique I dislike the most. Of course I can feel some sensitive points being massaged but it’s like if my feet were not receptive even if my mind would like them to be. I’ll keep practicing and see if it gets better.

joanna yates

This is great information. Since moving to the big apple, I’m on my feet much more often than I ever have been in my life. I’ve also started teaching Barworks, a method of movement incorporating the ballet bar and being elevated on the balls of the feet often for leg and glute work. I’ve been rolling out the center of my foot as it seems to be cramping lately, but I’m curios if this will also give me some relief. Thank you for your time!

Thom Law Britten

Like most folks I’m constantly on my feet, both in the office and lots of athletics. For some time I’ve been rolling out my feet once or twice a week while I sit at my desk. The rolling out has helped. However recently after some training I’ve come to realize that I was slightly everting my feet. I think with some practice this could help “train my feet” and help me notice the small movements I might not be aware I’m making while in motion. So onto more studying of my own body.

Mindy Micheli

This article is great! I completely agree that what happens in our foundation – which definitely is our feet, “goes all the way up the body”. It is amazing to me, but when I am in the middle of a day and can spare no time, I will roll my feet out with my YTU balls under my computer desk. The outcome is always positive in terms of reduced tension, stiffness and pain. It is wonderful to be able to work and do self-care at the same time! I loved Terry’s reminder that “You are in charge of your healing”…whether… Read more »


I love the isolation of the big toe mound. Rolling out my feet is one of my favorite places to experiment with on the therapy balls because it’s true that our feet are our foundation and take on a lot of stress and miss use throughout our lifetime. I’m definitely going to incorporate this into a sequence for my students and I’m heading over to read Part 1 of this series.

Thanks for the inspo!