Three Foot Strengthening Exercises

Strengthen the intrinsic foot muscles and extrinsic foot muscles to improve posture, enhance lower extremity function, increase balance and prevent injuries. Perform foot strengthening exercises consistently and correctly for optimum results. The foot and lower leg muscles are seldom trained. They are often the most neglected muscles in the body. Implement a foot strengthening program along with an entire body fitness routine. Foot strengthening exercises will help strengthen the intrinsic foot muscles and the extrinsic foot muscles. Utilize foot strengthening exercise to help prevent and rehabilitate injuries such as Lateral Ankle Sprains, High Ankle Sprains, Calf Muscle Strains, Achilles Tendinopathy, Plantar Fasciitis, Tarsal Tunnel Syndrome, Peroneal Tendinopathy, Hallux Limitus/Hallux Rigidus, Metatarsalgia, Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome (Shin Splints), Morton’s Neuroma, Patello-Femoral Pain Syndrome (Runner’s Knee) and Patellar Tendinopathy. Foot Strengthening Exercises will help to correct postural impairments such as Lower Cross Syndrome and Upper Cross Syndrome.

Start at a level that is appropriate for you and increase the intensity in small, gradual, calculated increments. If a specific exercise elicits symptoms, forgo that particular exercise and proceed to another.

Short Foot Exercise (SFE)

Sit in good posture. Knee and foot in line. Knee flexed ninety degrees. Ankle in neutral. Foot flat on floor.

Raise arch of foot without curling toes. (Short foot position.)

Hold contraction for two to six seconds.


Inch foot forward with slight knee extension and perform another repetition.

Reposition foot with slight knee extension each repetition to target intrinsic and extrinsic foot muscles at a variety of ankle angles.

Advanced Progression: 1) Seated using a BOSU Ball. 2) Standing on single leg. 3) Standing on single leg on a BOSU Ball.

Towel Toe Grab

Sit in good posture with foot on a towel on floor in front of you.

Knee and foot in line. Knee flexed ninety degrees. Ankle in neutral.

Curl toes and grab towel between toes and forefoot.

Hold contraction for two to six seconds.

Relax and splay toes between each rep.

Perform desired number of repetitions then perform with opposite foot.

Toe Curling & Splaying

Sit in good posture. Heel on floor. Ankle in very slight dorsiflexion so forefoot is off floor.

Splay toes as far as possible. Hold for two seconds.

Curl toes. Hold for two seconds.

Dorsiflex ankle to slightly raise forefoot. Perform another repetition.

Dorsiflex ankle slightly higher each rep to target muscles at a variety of angles.

Execute these basic foot strengthening exercises to enhance foot function, build a strong dynamic foundation and combat Lower Cross Syndrome.

Reference: Short-Foot Exercise Promotes Quantitative Somatosensory Function in Ankle Instability: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Disclaimer: Viewing this video does not take the place of seeing a medical professional, receiving proper training in the medical profession or working with a fitness professional. Please visit a medical professional for evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. Please work with a fitness professional to learn proper exercise technique and to develop a proper training program. Never perform an exercise that elicits or intensifies symptoms. If an exercise elicits or intensifies symptoms, stop immediately and use a viable substitute. Please receive proper medical training before attempting these medical procedures.

Dr Donald A Ozello DC of Championship Chiropractic in Las Vegas, NV

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