If your feet are suffering from wearing high heels, Ilaria Cavagna may have the solution.
The dancer and trainer has created the High Heel Rescue Workout to help women who have high heel-related pain in their feet and throughout the body.
“The pitch of heel puts a lot of pressure on the foot, and on top of that this pitch creates a lot of adaptation in the posture and the gravity line above,” Cavagna tells People Now. “Not all the time, but oftentimes you have aches and pains of the knee, lower back and neck because of the change in the posture.”
Cavagna came up with the idea for her workout after her clients kept complaining about foot pain caused by their uncomfortable shoe.
“Working out the feet is really, really important,” she says. “I don’t think too many people know that. Getting them strong is important because they’re the foundation of our body. If your feet are in good health, the rest of the body is in good health and can stand properly.”
Cavagna created “Rescue Loops,” two sets of leather loops connected by a tension spring, to help work out the feet. Her High Heel Rescue Workout utilizes the loops to do a series of movements for 30 seconds to a minute each that help release tension and increase blood circulation in the feet.
For the first move, Cavagna puts the larger loops around the feet just below the joint of the little toe.
“Extend the legs, having the legs hip-width apart, which already engages the glutes when you lift, and you just pull out the toes lightly,” she says. “The little movement connects the work of the ankle all the way to the hips. If you flex the foot more you elongate the posterior part [of the leg], which usually if you wear heels shortens because of the position of the ankle.”
FROM COINAGE: 4 Ways to Work Out Without Killing Your Wallet
Another move utilizes the smaller loops, placed around the big toes.
“One foot at a time pull out gently, because those joints are delicate,” says Cavagna. “Then we can play with lifting up the big toes and [putting] them down, always keeping a little bit of tension in the spring, then picking up the other toes and down. This really helps the blood circulate in your feet. Heels [can cause] a lot of inflammation and injuries like bunions. Blood circulation helps with that recovery process.”
While Cavagna invented the workout with women in mind, she said the workout is good for anyone who spends a lot of time on their feet or who has foot and toe pain. She is currently raising money to launch the Rescue Loops on Kickstarter, with plans to have them available for purchase at the end of March. She currently uses them to teach her class in New York, and already has found fans in Cirque du Soleil performers and a prima ballerina.
“The pointe shoe is the ultimate high heel, and she’s an expert of working out the feet, so if she likes it, that makes me really happy!”