Ankle & Foot Home Exercises

Home Exercise Program

The home exercises that are described here are general recommendations intended to be used only in conjunction with physician treatment for your injury. If at any time you should experience increased pain as a result of these exercises, discontinue the home exercise program and consult your physician.



Towel Scrunches

 

  • Place a small washcloth or hand towel on the floor and place your toes at the edge closest to your body. 
  • Using only your toes, scrunch the towel towards your body until the entire towel is underneath your foot.
  • Repeat for 2-3 repetitions.
 
Marble Pick Up

 

 

  • Take 10-15 marbles or small rocks and place them on the floor. Set an empty cup next to where the marbles/rocks are on the floor. 
  • Using only your toes, pick up the marbles/rocks individually and place in the cup. 
  • Once all of the marbles/rocks are in the cup, empty the cup and repeat. 
  • Perform the exercise for 3-4 repetitions.
 
Ankle Inversion

 

 

  • Using a light resistance band (yellow or red) tie a knot in one end and a loop in the other. Anchor the knot in a secure place, such as a door jam and close the door and place the loop around your foot, sit on the floor with your affected side facing the door, and slide your body away from the door until the band is tight. 
  • Without rotating your lower leg, point your toes away from the door. You should feel the muscles on the inside of your ankle working. 
  • Make sure when performing the exercise the motion is performed in a slow and controlled motion.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions working up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
 
Ankle Eversion

 

  • Using a light resistance band (yellow or red) tie a knot in one end and a loop in the other. Anchor the knot in a secure place, such as a door jam and close the door and place the loop around your foot, sit on the floor with unaffected side facing the door, and slide your body away from the door until the band is tight. 
  • Without rotating your lower leg, point your toes away from body only using your ankle. You should feel the muscles on the outside of your ankle working. 
  • Make sure that when performing the exercise the motion is a slow and controlled motion.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions working up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions
 
Ankle Plantarflexion

 

  • Using a light resistance band (yellow or red) tie a knot in one end and a loop in the other. Anchor the knot in a secure place, such as a door jam and close the door and place the loop around your foot, sit on the floor with your back towards the door, and slide your body away from the door until the band is tight. 
  • Slowly push your toes down, as if you would be pushing down on a gas pedal. You should feel your calf in the back of your lower leg tighten. 
  • Make sure to complete the exercise using slow and controlled motions.
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions working up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
 
Ankle Dorsiflexion

 

  • Using a light resistance band (yellow or red) tie a knot in one end and a loop in the other. Anchor the knot in a secure place such as a door jam and close the door and place the loop around your foot, sit on the floor facing the door, and slide your body back until the band is tight. 
  • Slowly pull your toes backwards to your nose and feel the muscles in the front of your ankle tighten. 
  • Make sure that you perform the entire motion in a slow and controlled fashion. 
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 repetitions working up to 3 sets of 15 repetitions.
 
Achilles Tendon Stretch

 

  • Face a wall and place your hand against the wall with your unaffected leg bent and your affected leg straight behind you.
  •  Try and touch your heel to the ground feeling a stretch in your calf. 
  • Hold the stretch for 20 seconds; perform 2 sets of 3 repetitions.
 
Calf Raises

 

  • Stand facing a stable surface (a kitchen counter, table, or back of a chair), feet approximately a shoulder width apart, and holding on to the surface with your hands for balance.
  • Lift your unaffected leg off of the ground keeping your affected leg on the ground. Raise your heel off of the ground shifting your weight to your toes.  If this is too much of a challenge initially, perform the exercise with both feet on the ground and work up to performing the exercise on one leg. 
  • Perform 2 sets of 10 and work up to 3 sets of 15.