The term duck feet sounds a bit intimidating. If you're not familiar with it, it may sound as if it's some kind of a feet virus that you catch walking barefoot at the local city pond. It's actually a lot simpler, less dangerous, and quite common – it's the tendency to stand and walk turning your feet outwards. So should you be concerned and are there ways how to correct duck feet?
When I was little, I used to walk turning my feet inwards. My Mom would always keep me mindful of this, so I had no choice but to consciously try to fix it by watching others and practicing. And I did! But I remember always being awfully surprised by how many adults seemed to be walking with feet turned outward.
And it is true – lots and lots of people do this without even thinking about it. You can be born with such tendency, but usually it's acquired over time due to poor posture or specific vocations. There are reasons to be concerned, though, as it can lead to unnecessary wear and tear in the joints and muscles of the kinetic chain. Bellow are ways to correct duck feet in adults.
What's causing your walking duck-footed?
Assuming it's not your genetics, you need to do this simple test to find out the roots of your problem. To do this, lie down on the ground facing up, keep you legs straight and relaxed.
Look down and see if your knees are turned out along with the feet or are they straight and centered, even though your feet look outwards. In the first case you'll know that the problem is in your hips. In the second case your lower legs seem to be the problem that you need to address to fix duck feet.
Exercises for Tight Hips
1. Hip Flexor Release
- You'll need two lacrosse balls taped together for best results or you can use a regular foam roller.
- Lay on your stomach and place the taped lacrosse balls or your foam roller just below your left hip bone and lean into it.
- Bend your left knee back to a 90-degree angle and swing it side-to-side in such a range of motion that doesn't cause you pain.
- Do this for 30 seconds and switch to the other side. Repeat the whole cycle 2 times more.
2. Hip Mobilization With Foam Roller
- Lay on your foam roller so it's positioned along your spine, the lower tip of it being at the base of your spine or sacrum.
- Keep your arms at the sides while raising both legs up with knees straight. Keep your spine, especially your sacrum, flat on your foam roller.
- Repeat 30 times for 2 sets.
3. Hip Rotation Exercise
- Lie on your back, knees and hips slightly bent.
- Locate your right ilium (the bony prominence on the back of your hip) with your right hand. Apply pressure on it with your fingers.
- While keeping the pressure, draw your right knee towards your chest and move it back again, straightening your leg.
- Repeat 20 times for three sets and do the same lying on your right side.
Exercises for Tight Lower Legs
1. Shin Release
- Place a foam roller on your chosen surface and place the front of your left shin on it.
- Move the foam roller along and across your shin muscle until you feel release of tension in the area.
- Do this for up to 2 minutes. Repeat with your right shin.
2. Single-Leg Deadlift
- Stand on your left foot, keep your right foot behind you with its toes just slightly touching the ground.
- Slightly bend your left knee throughout the exercise.
- Keep your back flat while you hinge your torso forward until your back is parallel to the ceiling.
- Push out of your left leg to return to the starting position.
- Repeat 15 times for three sets and do the same with the right leg.
3. Stability Ball Calf Raises
- You'll need a stability ball for this exercise.
- Place your stability ball against your chest and press it against the wall.
- Shift the weight to your left foot. Raise your right foot and rest it against the back of your left shin.
- Slightly bend your left knee.
- Rise yourself up onto your toes, hold for a moment, and come back down, allowing your heel to touch the floor.
- Repeat the motion with your left leg perfectly straight.
- Repeat the motion with your left foot turned outwards.
- This is one repetition. Do this 15 times for three sets.
- Repeat the series with your right leg.
- If it's too difficult to do this standing on one foot, you can try doing it with both feet on the floor.