Ligaments in your foot attach bone to bone and tendons attach muscle to bone. Strengthening tendons and ligaments by performing foot-strengthening exercises is important in enhancing the overall strength of your foot and helps to prevent injuries. The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that attaches your calf muscles to your heel bone and is critical for walking and running. Strengthening this tendon may help with prevention of or recovery from Achilles tendinitis, a common injury. Consult your doctor about any foot pain or injury before beginning an exercise routine.
Static Toe Flexion
Sit or stand with your feet flat on the floor. Press your toes down into the floor while keeping them straight and your ankles still. Hold this position for four seconds and repeat 10 times. Do this exercise three or four times a day. Hold this exercise for longer than three to four seconds as you are able.
Place the back of your foot on a sturdy object, such as a book, and the front half of your foot on a weight scale, ensuring your foot is horizontal. Press down on the scale with your forefoot so you can measure the strength. Repeat this exercise eight times with each foot and perform daily to monitor strength.
While sitting or standing, pick up a pencil with your toes. Hold the pencil with your toes for eight seconds and repeat 10 times. Perform this exercise three or four times daily. As an alternative to using a pencil, you can scrunch up a towel with your toes.
Functional exercises involve walking on your toes or walking on your heels. To walk on your toes, walk on demi-toe for 10 to 20 seconds while barefoot. Perform six sets with 18 to 20 seconds of rest between sets. Do this exercise two or three times daily and gradually increase the length of your walks. To walk on your heels, perform the toe-walking exercise but walk on your heels instead of your tiptoes. Perform six sets of 10 to 20 seconds with 18 to 20 seconds of rest between sets. Do this exercise two or three times daily and gradually increase the length of your walks.
Calf raises can be done in a sitting or standing position. These exercises help those recovering from Achilles tendinitis. To perform the seated calf raise, sit in a chair while raising your foot by pointing the tips of your toes straight at the floor. Hold this position for five seconds, then place your feet back down on the floor. Begin with one or two sets of 10 repetitions twice daily and increase repetitions every two or three days. To perform the standing calf raise, balance on the balls of your feet on a sturdy low step or step stool. Lower both heels slowly, then rise up on your tiptoes. Begin with one or two sets of 10 repetitions twice daily and gradually increase repetitions.