Exercise your feet for enhanced Strength and Flexibility

By maintaining your strength and flexibility, you can reduce ankle and foot pain, muscle soreness, improves overall foot health and keep you active. Exercises that aim at improving range of motion and help work up your feet may reduce your chances of getting injured. Slow and gentle stretches help improve your flexibility. Strength exercises allow your muscles to provide better support and protection for your foot.

If your feet and ankles hurt a lot, if you’ve been injured, or have arthritis or diabetes, consult your doctor or physical therapist before doing any of these exercises. Depending on your needs, your doctor may add or remove some of the exercises described here.

List of Exercises

Toe raise, point, and curl:

Sit in a chair with a straight back and your feet flat on the floor. Keep your toes level on the ground and elevate your heels until only your feet’s balls and toes touch the ground. Hold the position for five seconds. Only the tips of your big and second toes should be touching the ground. Next, maintain your heel off the ground and roll your toes under such that the tops of your toes make contact with the ground. Hold the position for five seconds. You should repeat each position ten times.

Toe extension:

Sit in a chair with a straight back and flat feet on the floor. Pick up one of your feet and place it on the opposite thigh. Pull your toes up toward your ankle with one hand until you feel a stretch along the sole of your foot and in your heel cord. During the stretch, use your other hand to massage the arch of your foot. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Repeat on each foot ten times.

Other exercises include toe splay, toe curls, tennis ball roll, etc. These exercises can be easily found online with visual representation to make them easy to follow and practice. 

Importance of Feet exercises

These stretches and exercises strengthen your feet. They also help reduce stiffness and pain. Be kind to yourself. If the exercise still aches, stop and consult with your doctor or physical therapist about how to proceed if any directions are unclear or do not address your problem.

For more information on such exercises or any other ankle and foot-related topics, book a consultation with our expert Dr Anuj Chawla.