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Strengthening Exercises for the Foot

The following guidelines are for information purposes only. We recommend seeking professional advice before beginning rehabilitation.

  • With the feet flat on the floor, press the toes downwards into the floor.
  • Do not allow them to curl, or the ankle to move whilst performing the exercise.
  • Hold for the count of 3, repeat 10 times.
  • Perform this exercise 3 times a day if possible.
  • Progress the exercise by holding the contraction for longer.

Spreading the toes

  • Place feet flat on the floor.
  • Spread the toes as far as they will go and then return them together.
  • Repeat this 10 times, rest and the perform a further 2 sets of 10 repetitions.
  • Aim to repeat this exercise 3 times a day, as above.

Forefoot press

  • Place the back half of a foot on a suitable book, and the forefoot on a set of weighing scales, ensuring the foot is horizontal as far as possible.
  • Press down with the forefoot onto the scales to see who much force you generate.
  • Repeat 10 times for each foot.
  • Perform this exercises daily. It is an excellent way of seeing exactly how the strength of the foot is improving.

Toe lifting

  • Place feet flat on the floor and try to lift each toe up in turn.
  • Aim to keep the others flat on the floor - not easy, is it?
  • Perform three sets of each toe.
  • Try to perform this exercise twice a day - at least once.

Pencil lifting

Pencil pick up

  • Pick up a pencil in the toes.
  • Hold for count of 6, repeat 10 times.
  • Aim to perform this exercise 3 times a day.
  • An alternative version of this is to repeatedly scrunch up a towel in the toes.

Functional strengthening exercises

Functional exercises are more closely related to day to day activities.

Walking on the toes

  • Simply walk about on tip toe.
  • Do not wear shoes but perform the exercise barefoot.
  • Aim for 8 sets of 15 to 20 seconds with 20 seconds rest between.
  • Complete the exercise 2 times a day. Progress by increasing the duration of the walks.

Walking on the heels

  • As above but walk on the heals.
  • Aim for 8 sets of 15 to 20 seconds with 20 seconds rest between.
  • Complete the exercise 2 times a day. Progress by increasing the duration of the walks.
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