The big toe might be a smaller joint but that does not mean it's not important for athletes. From a powerful push off while running, to a sharp cut in a ball sports the big toes gets enough use!
The big toe is responsible for approximately 80-85 percent of the stability in your foot,” Dicharry said, in the book Anatomy for Runners. “Your lesser toes curl and lift off the ground, but the big toe’s job is to ground down and build a ‘tripod’ between the end of the toe, the inside ball of the foot and the outside ball of the foot.”
The big toe can cause a chain reaction of problems on up the leg—from plantar fasciitis to Achilles problems to calf strains and more.
“When muscles inside the foot don’t work correctly, they pass a ton of strain up into the lower leg, too tissues that aren’t designed to bear the load,” Dicharry said.
The tests & exercises to get started:
1) Test first - Do yo have 30 degree extension?
2) Strength - push it into the ground, hard.
3) Stretch - hold a minute or more - in and out of it.
Give it a try and let me know how you do!