But it's so easy to do Top of the Foot Stretch! -- Here, I'll show you:
It's simple to do -- just bend one knee and place the top of that foot on the ground behind you. (But darn it, I had the wrong pants leg rolled up, and the stretching foot doesn't even show!)
If this is the first time you're trying this, perhaps you should hold on to something for balance (a wall, a chair), though that is not what I'm doing here. I was typing on the computer at the kitchen-counter-standing-work-station, demonstrating how we can do some things that are helpful for our bodies while we work, rather than just ignoring and wrecking our selves. It is so simple, BUT we need to get into a few necessary lower body alignment points.
(For even more fun, read Katy Bowman's STANCE blog).
ALIGNMENT from the side: LATERAL ANKLEBONE, KNEE and MID-PELVIS LINED UP
See how my standing leg (the straight one) is lined up so the middle of my pelvis is not forward of my knee and ankle? You might quibble that my pelvis is actually back a little behind the anklebone (aka malleolus), but that is okay in this case. It's good that my weight is in the heel of my standing leg, not the forefoot, so my toes are free, not scrunching up to keep me from pitching forward.
That way we give our quadriceps muscles (front of the thigh) some slack, and they need that. (They need it because we use chairs, they need it for the sake of our knees. And hips. And backs.)
Is your stretching foot cramping? Don't worry, you are not damaging yourself, just shake it out and try again. It will get better (and more ALIVE) with practice. DO PUT SOME PADDING under those toes. I used a folded-up sheet, you can use anything.
At first you may only be able to get your toenails on the ground and trying to do more may be painful. DON'T BE PAINFUL. I mean, seriously, if you aren't being nice to yourself you are not doing it right! Keep doing a little bit, but often (like, up to a minute 1 to 10 times a day) and it will get easier, and it will start to feel great. Think of "letting go" in your foot, and do both feet.
Notice how my front foot looks like it's levitating? That's just because I'm externally rotating my femur. "What, huh?" you might say? I will explain another time.
Alignment from the front: OUTSIDE EDGES OF FEET STRAIGHT, FEET HIP WIDTH APART