The Best Years in Life

Articles by natural health author Sarka-Jonae Miller

 

Home  Article Directory  Health News/Information   Healthy Recipes  TBYIL Radio  Podcasts   Remedies  Beating/Avoiding Cancer  Natural Living  Anti-Aging/Longevity  Pets/Animals  Humor  Inspiration  The TBYIL Complete Supplement & Health Catalog   Contact Us
Share

 

Exercises for Strong Feet and Ankles

by Sárka-Jonae Miller
See more articles by Sárka-Jonae Miller

(The Best Years in Life) Everyone knows that a structure built on a weak foundation is not sturdy, but most people don't realize this principle applies to the human body. Weak feet and ankles create instability, leading to poor posture and slow movements. Performing exercises to make your feet stronger and more flexible will enhance sports performance, improve balance, increase range of motion, and reduce risk of injury.

Stretching Exercises

Flexibility and range of motion in the ankle joint and the muscles of the calf, feet, and toes are crucial for ease of movement and injury prevention. One of the simplest ways to stretch the muscles in the lower leg and feet is a variation of the sit and reach exercise.

Start by getting a towel and then sit on the floor with your legs extended in front of you. Lean forward and place the middle of the towel on the balls of your feet. Sit up tall and make sure your legs are completely straight before pulling the towel toward you. This should cause you to feel a stretch in the back of your heels and calves. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds before taking a short break, and then repeat.

If your leg flexibility is noticeably different, try stretching only one leg at a time. You may do the stretch with one or both legs twice a day unless otherwise directed by a doctor.

Range of Motion Exercises

Range of motion refers to how much movement you can get in your joints in all directions. Some joints have a small range of motion, such as the joints in your toes, while others, like your hips, have a much larger range of motion.  

The first ROM exercise you should do is called toe spreading. It is exactly what it sounds like. Sit down and place both feet flat on the floor. Then, spread your toes outward as far as they can go. Bring them back to the starting position and then repeat. Start with 10 repetitions and later try two sets of 10.

Another toe exercise that improves ROM is the toe lifts. This exercise also takes a good deal of concentration and dexterity. While seated, place your feet flat on the floor. Then, try to lift just your big toes off the floor. Your other toes should not move. Go down the line lifting one toe on each foot. Repeat twice.

Another ROM exercise for the ankles is the alphabet exercise. While seated hold your right foot in the air and imagine that you're writing out the alphabet with your big toe. Go through each letter and then repeat with your left foot.

Most everyone has done ankle circles once or twice in their lives, but this is an exercise you should do daily. While standing or seated, hold your right foot comfortably in the air and then circle your foot in a clockwise direction. After 10 circles, switch to rotating in a counterclockwise direction. Repeat with your left foot. 

 

Strengthening Exercises

Because the feet and ankles don't exactly bulk up, people don't usually consider doing strengthening exercises for them. But there are many muscles in the feet that do important actions, such as pointing your toes or gripping the surface when you walk.

An easy exercise that strengthens your feet and toes is called towel grabs. Find a hand towel and drop it on the floor in front of a chair. Remove your shoes. Sit down and place both feet on the towel. Then, curl your toes to pull the towel toward you. Repeat twice. You can make this exercise harder by placing a paperweight on the opposite end of the towel.

Next, stand up and rise onto your the balls of your feet. Try walking for 20 seconds without letting your heels touch the floor. Give yourself a short rest and repeat once more. As you get stronger, try walking on the balls of your feet for more time.

To strengthen your feet and ankles in the opposite manner, try walking on your heels for 20 seconds. Extend the time as the exercise gets easier.

Unlike most strength training routines that require days off to allow your muscles to rest, these feet and ankle exercises can be done twice a day everyday. If you have problems with your feet or ankles, such as a previous injury or abnormality, check with a medical professional first.

See also:

Fight the Slump: Exercises for the Upper Back and Shoulders

Easy Ab Workout With an Exercise Ball

Simple Exercises to Strengthen and Shape Your Derrière

Exercises for Sexy, Sculpted Calves

References:

http://www.centerworks.com/foot-strength-exercises/
http://www.sportsinjuryclinic.net/rehabilitation-exercises/lower-leg-ankle-exercises/strengthening-exercises-foot
http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/PDFs/Rehab_Foot_and_Ankle_4.pdf

About the Author

Sárka-Jonae Miller is a health and fitness expert. She began working in the fitness industry in 2000 while pursuing a BS in journalism at Syracuse University. She became certified as a personal fitness trainer and group exercise instructor in 2003. She has also received training in massage therapy. Sárka also writes fiction. She is the author of the chick lit novel, Between Boyfriends. Get more health and wellness tips on Sárka's Natural Healing Tips blog or join her on Facebook and Twitter.

Sarka-Jonae Miller's "Between Boyfriends eBook"
When "the one" breaks her heart, Jan vows to change.  Read the book
Hollywood & Vine magazine says "presents a unique twist on the chick-lit genre."
Click on the image above for more details.

     

Your website hosts Tony Isaacs and Luella May

Listen to us on The Best Years in Life Radio Show every Wednesday from 6 to 8 PM CST!

Click here to visit our CureZone Health Forum: Ask Tony Isaacs: Featuring Luella May – Natural Health, Cancer, Longevity and Home & Herbal Remedies.

         

Misty, My Buddy, Little Rascal & Lady the "found dogs" - Official Mascots of The Best Years in Life

   

Mountain Rose Herbs. A Herbs, Health & Harmony Com   

For the best in health information, subscribe to The Best Years in Life Newsletter featuring articles by Tony M. Isaacs

Subscribe to The Best Years in Lifeand The Oleandersoup Forum - Free Subscription
Powered by health.groups.yahoo.com

intraMAX

intraMAX™

100% Organic MicroComplexed™ IntraCELL™ Level IV Technology ~ 415 Nutrients All-In-One, Perfect Whole Foods & Phyto Nutrition ~ Super Energizing ~ All Natural DefenseThe Most Scientifically Advanced, Clinically Proven, Health Promoting Organic Nutritional Supplement Available Today!

Apricot Kernels

You have probably heard about the wonders of Vitamin B17, aka Laetrile. We have found a great source to recommend to everyone!

The Krill Miracle™

The Krill Miracle™

Concentrated Omega 3, 6 & 9, Many Times More Powerful than Fish Oil

Available Now!
Click on the image for more information

Sutherlandia OPC

The ultimate immune booster and modulator from South Africa

Cell Forte Max3

Triple-strength Cell Forte MAX3 features an exclusive combination essential for regulating healthy cell development and delivering life-changing results. Cell Fort? dramatically increases natural killer-cell activity and boosts the cells' defenses.

The Best Colloidal Silver on the Planet!

If you would like to donate to help us keep this web site active and growing, click on the button above.   Much thanks! - Tony & Luella

 

The Best Years in Life
P O Box 121 Cooper TX  75432  Phone: 903-886-2436  Fax: 801-926-4273  Email: Dquixote1217[at]gmail.com- (replace [at] with @)

Disclaimer: The information on this page and on this website has not been evaluated by the FDA.  We do not diagnose, treat, cure or prevent illness or disease - instead, we try to help people learn how to do so themselves.  Anyone who believes they have a serious medical condition or health issue should seek diagnoses from a qualified medical professional before making any decisions on how to best address their health. We do not sell or advocate drugs, nor do we make any claims that anything advocated or sold on this website is a drug.  Furthermore, anyone contemplating using any products or information on this website must accept such use as experimental and voluntary.  No claims are made regarding the therapeutic use of the products or information on this website and all products featured or sold on this website must be considered nutritional supplements only.