Foot and ankle exercises
Give a moments thought to your fantastic feet! Just think, if you are relatively active and live to 80 years old, you’ll have walked about 216,262,500 steps in your lifetime.
Your feet are mechanical miracles when you consider they have 26 bones, 33 joints and more than a hundred muscles, tendons, and ligaments. We tend to only take notice of them when something goes wrong.
Good balance relies on many things but strong ankles and feet are really important for stability. Researchers found that by doing some simple resistance exercises three times a week improved functional mobility and balance.*
Here are some simple exercises you can do at home to keep your ankles and feet strong and supple, you can do them sitting in a chair or even when watching TV. You can do the ankle rotations, alphabets and toe grips every day. Try to do the ankle strengthener 2 or 3 times a week.
Please check with a medical professional before trying these exercises if you have any problems with your feet or ankles.
Sit back in your chair, lift one foot off the floor and rotate it gently and slowly round in a large circle. Aim to do 10 circles and then repeat on the other foot.
Sit back in your chair, lift one foot off the floor and draw the letters of the alphabet with your foot, then repeat on the other foot.
Sitting down, with bare feet, try to pick up a small object like a marble or a tissue using your toes. Pick up and place each object into a container and try to do this 10 times on each foot. Make sure you pick up the marbles before standing!
If you don’t have a resistance band you can simply sit back in your chair, raise one foot off the floor and pull your foot up towards your shin then point your foot away and down toward the floor (as if you were lifting off and pressing a pedal in car). Try to do 10 on each foot.
If you have a resistance band, place the band under one foot, ensure it is around the front half of the foot but is secure so it doesn’t slip off. Sit back in your chair and raise your leg off the floor – not too high. Now pull the band towards you so it becomes taut and encourages your toes towards your shin then slowly push your foot down. You’ll feel a gentle stretch in the back of your calf and heel, then in the front of your foot and shin. Continue flexing your foot up and down against the band 10 times and repeat on the other foot.
Using a resistance band will really improve your strength, as you have to push against the band. You can progress by increasing the resistance of the bands (from red to green to blue to black) so you are always improving.
Why not buy a band from us? Just follow this link.
Excellent exercise for chair based or wheelchair participants and works well in care based settings.