FOOT & ANKLE STRENGHTENING EXERCISES
by Nadezhda Pavlova
by Nadezhda Pavlova
There is the idea that a person who includes running as part of their workout also helps the feet to exercise in the process. This is a wrong assumption. In daily routines, a runner should exclusively set time for strength exercises for the foot, knee and ankle.
Strengthening exercises helps one to maintain endurance throughout the miles that they plan to run. A set of feet and/or leg strengthening exercises are a great preparation for running. These exercises also reduce the occurrence of Injuries, sprains and muscular pain for athletes and regular runners.
Before you get to your running grind, it is vital to strengthen your foot and ankle. Here are some simple foot and ankle strengthening exercises that you can easily do every day:
• Toe Walks – Stand tall and keep your legs straight. Draw your heels up to the calves and take quick little steps. It’s like tip toe walking only putting more pressure to the balls of your feet.
• Heel Walk – Heel walk uses the balls of your feet one at a time. It should look like walking with the rest of your foot directed upward, and only the heels touching the ground. Do this in three sets, with 20 steps each.
• Calf Lift Exercise – This exercise is also known as a Calf Raise. First, stand straight on your feet. Use the balls of your feet to stand for a second or two and go back down slowly. The exercise could be done for about 10 to 20 reps. If done correctly, you should feel tension building in the calves.
• Towel Toe Curls – This exercise does an excellent job of strengthening your toes. Towel toe curls are better done in a sitting position. Scrunch a towel beneath your feet, using only your toe fingers. Do 10 pulls to the towel by curling your toes to it. Then, do another 10 by pushing it back. This exercise could be a little difficult as it demands strength from the toe fingers, which are not always used.
• Ankle Circles – Extend your knee forward while sitting or standing and move your foot in a circular motion clockwise and reverse. Do the same with the other foot with a repetition of 10 times for each foot.
Including these set of workouts will strengthen your foot, ankle and knee and boost your running experience. Ultimately, the exercises will also save you from a lot of possible injuries that you may be susceptible to while running. Nonetheless, it is always best to ask a medical expert’s advice for better results.