Foot & Ankle

One thing we see a lot in practice is ankle and foot injuries which can often start from a sudden onset of repetitive exercise i.e. running. This may as a result of over-training and failing to use cross-training or proprioception exercises alongside the running. To help prevent injury it is important to try and incorporate ankle stability exercises within your daily routine.

Please see below for exercises you could try to incorporate into your routine

Please note – Some of the exercises below are not suited or may need to be adapted for people with hypermobility or certain medical conditions. Please stop at any time if you find these aggravate your symptoms or cause pain.

If you would like any more advice on your aches or pain/injuries please send a message to us and we can discuss a tailored management and exercise plan to suit your needs.

Louise Field Registered Osteopath

Alphabet Ankle Sitting

Sitting Use your toes and ankle to draw letters of the alphabet. Keep each letter and movement controlled and specific.

One Leg Stand

One leg standing exercises

Stand on one leg and try to keep your balance. Be careful and hold on to a wall for support when you first start this exercise. A single leg balance exercise such as this is an enormously valuable exercise, and its benefits include strengthening the muscles and ligaments around the ankles and knees and improving balance.

Ball Plantar Fascia Massage

Plantar Fascia relief

Stand or sit and place a tennis/spikey ball under the sole of your foot. Roll the ball up and down your foot, between your heel and your toes. Do not massage the heel area but keep to the softer plantar fascia on the sole of the foot.

Resisted Ankle Planter Flexion Using Resistance

Sit on the floor with your leg out straight. Place an exercise band around the ball of your foot, hold on to it with both hands, and push away creating resistance in the band. This exercise will help strengthen the calf muscle, and other muscles around the lower leg and ankle. It will also help improve circulation to your lower leg.

Towel Pick-Up

towel pick up exercise

Try to pick up a towel using your toes. This exercise will help improve strength in your toes and intrinsic foot muscles.

Toe Spreading/Abduction

Toe spreading exercise

Place your foot flat on the floor. Try to spread all of your toes outwards. It is a fairly difficult exercise and the outer toes may not move much at all. It may take some practice, so keep persisting. This exercise is useful for improving mobility of your toes and reducing the onset of bunions.

Other 'Lower Limb' Toolkits

You may be interested in our other ‘Lower Limb’ chapters within the Exercise Toolkit: