How to get strong feet, ankles and calves

The strength of your feet effects how you stand and walk and in turn, effects your posture. Follow the six steps below to have stronger feet.



The foundation

The average person walks 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day, or roughly 1.5 to 2 miles. That is a lot of movement of the 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments that make up each foot. Walking can be hard on your body and spine if there are altered mechanics in your feet.


Think of it like a skyscraper – if the foundation is off, the rest of the building can be altered, leading to stresses on structures that they may not have been designed to cope with them. For example, if you have flat feet it can cause your knees to collapse inward which could cause anterior pelvic tilt. Which in turn, can cause the shoulders to roll forward affecting the neck area.


What can you do about it?


Strengthening your feet can offset these imbalances and ease stresses on the joints above. Here are 6 things to do for your feet:

  1. Ankle inversion - sit in a chair with your knees and feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping the knees the same distance apart, roll onto the outside edge or your foot and hold briefly. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 repetitions. Do 2 sets. This works the muscles in the arch of the foot.

  2. Ankle eversion - sit in a chair with your knees and feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Keeping the knees the same distance apart, roll onto the inside edge or your foot and hold briefly. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 repetitions. Do 2 sets. This works the muscles on the outside of the lower leg.

  3. Towel scrunches - sit in a chair with your knees and feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Place a towel under your toes and pull the towel toward you by making a fist with your feet. Perform 10-15 repetitions. do 2 sets. This works the muscles on the bottom of the foot.

  4. Seated dorsiflexion - sit in a chair with your knees and feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Lift your forefoot off the floor as high as possible then curl your toes and hold briefly. Return to the starting position and repeat 10-15 times. Do 2 sets. This works the shin muscles.

  5. Seated plantarflexion - sit in a chair with your knees and feet hip-width apart and your feet flat on the floor. Raise your heals off the floor then raise the toes off the floor so that the only thing in contact with the floor are the balls of your feet. Hold briefly and return to the starting position. Repeat 10-15 times and perform 2 sets. This works the calf muscles.

  6. Single leg balance - stand on one leg for :30-1:00 then switch to the other leg and repeat one more time each leg. This works all the intrinsic muscles of the foot and calves.

Do these exercises 2-3 times every week to have strong feet, ankles and calves which will improve your posture.


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Enjoy!

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