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Pilates Obsession: Foot Exercises for your Whole Body


Updated February 27, 2014

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Two By Four: Preparation
Two By Four Exercise - Step 1

One of the things I love about Pilates is that you don't have to lie down or even use equipment to benefit from the system.  There are dozens of moves that can be done upright or in simple positions that don't involve navigating on and off the floor. This exercise known as the Two By Four is one such exercise.

Active people often ignore their feet unless they hurt. Most of us are content to beat up on our feet all day in pursuit of training our larger muscles.  Come nightfall, we compensate with ice, painkillers or the occasional foot rub after the damage has been done.  Using this exercise not only staves off potential foot pain by strengthening the smaller muscles within the feet but also trains the muscles of the legs, hips and postural muscles to work together.

So leave the mat alone and find a place near a wall.


Stand facing a wall so you can support yourself with two hands or catty-corner so you can use at least one hand.  Place your feed parallel and just hip width apart.  Eyeball your legs and feet to be sure your toes, ankles, knees and hips are facing directly ahead.  Draw your abdominals inward and upward to lengthen and support your torso and shift your body weight onto the middle of your feet so you aren't leaning back on your heels. 


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