It is the agility of our feet and ankles that aid us in proper locomotion. Let’s learn a few foot and ankle exercises to safeguard our body from any injuries and shortcomings.

Foot And Ankle Exercises

While we exalt the indispensable existence of our feet for transporting us to fantastic spots all over the world, we forget to acknowledge the wonders of our supple ankles! Ankles, the sole rationale for that effortless and sturdy gait! Most of us devote exorbitant amount of time pandering to our biceps and adnominal muscles; quite swiftly ignoring the ankles and feet that carry the entire weight of our body. As such, redirect some of your energy and time towards these ignored body parts to keep them flexible thus, evading all scopes of ankle injury or foot pain. In order to maintain the dexterity of these two very crucial body parts, we need to perform certain exercises solely created for the purpose. These exercises enhance movement and are highly advantageous in speeding up recovery from ankle sprains and feet injuries. You will come across some healthy foot and ankle exercises as you continue reading the rest of this section.
Exercises For The Feet And Ankles
Our ultimate aim is to ensure stability in our stride, strengthen our muscles and to increase the load on our ankles and feet without severe repercussions. Perform the following exercises regularly and alleviate all health or pain related worries! 
Ankle Pump Up & Ankle Pump Down
Ankle pump ups are ideal in strengthening the muscles found in the frontal zone of your lower leg, while ankle pump downs strengthen those muscles located at the back of your lower leg. Overall, it serves best at increasing the dorsiflexion and plantarflexion of the muscles. The ankle pump up exercise entails you to simply raise your foot up and try to touch your toes to the front portion of your lower leg! Hold on to this position for about ten seconds. Follow the same pattern for the ankle pump down exercise except that in this case, you have to bend down your foot instead of raising it upwards. Hold this position for around ten seconds, pretending to desperately touch the floor. Perform both these exercises three times a day.
Bent Knee Stretch
This exercise helps in stretching the soleus, an important calf muscle. Here are the steps to execute it correctly:
  • Mark your territory in front of a solid wall.
  • As you lean against the wall, stretch out your arms in opposite directions.
  • Hold one foot still and move the other one forward.
  • Bend the knee put forward to its maximum potential until you feel the pressure of stretching your body.
  • Stay in this position for about 30 seconds and perform this exercise three times a day.
Straight Knee Stretch
This exercise aims at stretching the gastrocnemius, one of the muscles of your calf. Given below are the steps to the right execution of this exercise.
  • Stand right in front of a solid wall.
  • Just like the bend knee stretch, lean against the wall and stretch out your arms. Move one foot forward while leaving the other one behind.
  • Straighten the knee further back a little bit until you get a feeling of it being stretched in the back of your calf.
  • Hold this position for about 30 seconds and try doing the exercises three times a day.
Toe Lifts & Heel Raise
Also identified as toe pick ups, toe lifts are rather easy to perform. It entails using your feet to pick up objects from the floor and shifting them elsewhere. Standard objects for this exercise are either marbles or pencils. Toe lifts do wonders to the ankle and feet. Heel raise, popularly known as ballet heel raise, requires the concerned individual to lift the ball of his/her toes while banking on the support of the big toe. All of your body weight is directed towards the big toe and you have to impersonate a ballet dancer as you maintain equilibrium by standing on that toe. Keep your hands on your waist throughout.
Arch Rotation
One of the most reliable foot and ankle exercises, arch rotation can be done by sitting on a chair, by hanging your legs or by simply sitting straight stretching your legs. You begin by rotating the sole of the foot inwards for 5-10 seconds and then rotating it outward for another 5-10 seconds. Arch rotation provides tremendous relief from fatigue and should be performed before you sleep!
Lateral Stepping & Lateral Jumping
Lateral movements are excellent for people suffering from feet injuries. Here’s how you do lateral stepping:
  • Roll a thick towel on the ground at the side of your injured foot.
  • Slowly step over the towel with the injured foot and hold your stance for a few seconds.
  • Then bring in the uninjured foot over the towel and stand for ten seconds.
  • Step back over the towel with the uninjured foot and remain on that foot.
  • Repeat the same movement by placing the uninjured foot on the towel first. Increase the speed of this exercise as the healing of the injured foot progresses.
Here are the guidelines to perform the lateral jumping exercise.
  • Place a rolled towel onto the floor at the side of your injured foot.
  • Hop over the towel, at your own sweet pace, with your injured foot.
  • After a few seconds, hop out of the towel and land on the uninjured foot.
Hope that the above mentioned exercises improve the flexibility of your feet and ankles, while relieving any sort of pervasive tension.

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