Foot health

Updated 10 March 2014

Foot and ankle exercises

To help you to stay active, it is important to keep your feet in shape. These are tips that will help you stay healthy and keep you off the injured reserve list.

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To help you to stay active, it is important to keep your feet in shape. These are tips that will help you stay healthy and keep you off the injured reserve list.

Ankle Pump Up This exercise helps increase ankle dorsiflexion and strengthens the muscles at the front of your lower leg (shin). Pull your foot up as if you are trying to touch the front of your shin with your toes. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 exercises and work your way up to 3 sets of 30. Try to do this three times per day.

Ankle pump down

This exercise helps increase ankle plantarflexion and strengthens the muscles in the back of your lower leg (calf). Push your foot down and point your toes toward the floor. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 30. Try to do the exercise three times per day.

Bent knee wall stretch

This exercise helps stretch one of the calf muscles called the soleus. Line yourself up squarely in front of a solid wall. Outstretch your arms to lean against the wall. Move one foot forward. The other foot should stay back. Slightly bend the knee (on the leg that is further back) until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 exercises and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 30. Try to do it three times per day

Straight knee wall stretch

This exercise helps stretch one of the calf muscles called the gastrocnemius. Line yourself up squarely in front of a solid wall. Outstretch your arms to lean against the wall. Move one foot forward. The other foot should stay back. Straighten the knee (on the leg that is further back) until you feel a stretch in the back of your calf. Hold that position for 30 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 exercises and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 30. Try to do this three times per day. (Sounds exactly the same as the previous one – is that how it’s supposed to be?)

Toe pick ups

This exercise helps strengthen your toes and improve their flexibility. Place a pile of objects on the floor and use your toes to pick them up and move them to make another pile. Do 3 sets three times per day.

 Toe rise

This exercise helps to strengthen your toes and calf muscles. Stand on a stable surface and rise up onto your toes by lifting your heels off the ground. Hold the position for 10 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 exercises and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 30. Try to do the exercises three times per day. If you are unstable, hold on to a chair or wall for balance.

Plantar Fascia Massage

This exercise directly massages the plantar fascia. Sit down and cross your leg over your knee. With one hand, pull your toes back toward your nose. With the other hand, massage the area on the bottom of your foot just in front of your heel. Do this for 10 minutes, three times per day.

Ice bottle massage

This exercise helps to massage and ice your foot at the same time. Fill a bottle with water and freeze it. Roll your foot on the bottle for 10 minutes three times per day

Towel stretch

This exercise helps to increase ankle dorsiflexion and stretch the calf muscles. Sit on the floor or on a bed and keep your knee straight. Loop a towel around your foot and pull the towel back until you start to feel a stretch in your calf muscles. Hold the position for 30 seconds. Start out doing 3 sets of 10 exercises and work your way up to doing 3 sets of 30 exercises. Try to do the exercises three times per day.

For more exercises check out this Pilates foot exercises video



(Health24, Ncumisa Magadla, August 2011)

Read more:

Feet

Your ankles

Source: http://foothealth.about.com/od/exercisefeet/ss/FootExercises_9.htm  

 

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