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What are the best exercises to strengthen the feet and ankles?

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Preferably, I'd like to find exercises that do not require equipment except, perhaps, resistance bands.
asked Aug 17, 2015 in Health and Fitness by tangolady1 (4,230 points)
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2 Answers

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Whether you are exercising your feet and ankles to recover from an injury or to prevent one from happening and to find better balance, there are many simple exercises that you can perform without the use of any exercise equipment. One of them you can simply perform by spreading your toes apart and then bringing them together again while simply in the standing position, feet flat. Using the same position, you can also, without curling your toes, press them against the floor. [1]

Have you heard of what is called 'pencil lifting?' This is a neat little exercise, and all you need is a pencil or pen. Basically, you're going to use your foot like a hand, pick it up, hold and then release, repeating as necessary to strengthen both your feet and ankles. Three-point lunges and single leg hops are two more involved exercises that you can do as well. The single leg hop requires that you have one leg raised perpendicularly and aligned with your hip, keeping the other one on the ground, subsequently hopping forward on one foot. [2]

The latter examples of exercises to strengthen ankles and feet require some conditioning and stretching before making an attempt. Another notable exercise is walking on your tip-toes. This should be done without shoes, and it really can be a challenge, so if you choose this activity, only do it for a maximum of 20 seconds at a time, although you can do multiple sets. [1]

If you happen to be into yoga at all, or you're wanting to explore yoga, I included a video demonstration of some yoga exercises to help strengthen your feet and ankles:

1. http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/rehabilitation-exercises/lower-leg-ankle-exercises/strengthening-exercises-foot

2. http://www.active.com/running/articles/4-exercises-to-strengthen-ankles
answered Aug 17, 2015 by JLettermanMB (43,520 points)
+1 vote

You've already gotten some great advice on excercises for your feet and ankles. Whether you're injured or just taking better care of yourself, it's also important to take certain measures to ensure feet and ankles remain healthy as you enjoy sports or exercise. Here are a few simple tips:


  • Always choose shoes that fit right
  • Replace tennis shoes when their tread wears down
  • Run on flat terrain when possible
  • Let your ankles and feet guide you - do not continue running or other exercise if you experience pain [1]


If you sprain or strain your ankle during exercise and can't get to your doctor, follow the RICE treatment [2] until you are able to get medical attention. Rest the injured body part for 24 to 48 hours, ice the affected area at 20 minute intervals, compress the area during early treatment using an Ace bandage, and elevate the injury as best you can. Strive to keep the injury higher than your heart if possible. [2]


1. http://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/tips_for_preventing_foot_and_ankle_injuries/index.html


2. http://orthopedics.about.com/cs/sprainsstrains/a/sprain_4.htm

answered Aug 17, 2015 by Alexis Arden (43,230 points)

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