What to know about exercises to strengthen the ankles and feet? | Dr.Chirag Patel

With age come a lot of challenges. Humans lose mobility in almost all areas of their bodies with ageing. One of such areas is the ankles and feet.

While walking, almost all our body weight is supported by our ankles and our feet. This means that they are very prone to wear and tear. The ankle acts as a hinge joint with limited mobility and the foot acts as a base which is just a compilation of muscles and multiple bones.

As a person grows old, these joints and the muscles and tendons surrounding them grow weaker, and that can hurt a person.

Some of the common problems with foot and ankle are as follows:

Achilles Tendonitis: In this condition, the Achilles tendon gets inflamed or degenerated. This causes pain in the back of the lower leg.

Plantar Fasciitis: This is a condition that causes inflammation of the plantar fascia. The plantar fascia is the connective tissue that runs across the sole of our foot. The pain is felt when we arch our feet.

Sesamoiditis: There are tiny bones within the tendon running to the big toe. Inflammation of fracture of these bones causes pain under the big toe or the second toe.

Overpronation: This is often caused by muscle imbalance which leads to posture problems. It is a very common problem that affects a lot of people.

So how do we save ourselves from this? Well, exercise seems to be a good solution. Even though exercise won’t permanently fix these problems, it greatly reduces the chances of getting these complications.

Here is a rundown of foot and ankle strengthening exercises:

Ankle circles:

Pull out a towel and roll it down on the floor. Sit down in front of it and stretch your legs so your ankle rests on the towel. Now keep your ankle fixed and move your feet in clockwise and anticlockwise circles. Repeat 10 times in one direction and 10 times in the other direction. This falls under the category of stiff feet exercises.

Single-Leg Balance:

This is very simple. Stand up with your shoulders apart and your arms spread for maximum balance. Then, raise one leg and try standing on only one leg for 60 seconds. Balance with your eyes closed and try balancing on an uneven surface. Do this every day to strengthen your feet and ankles. This is a good foot and ankle exercise for seniors.

Standing heel lifts:

Another easy exercise to try out is the standing heel lifts. Stand upright with your hands on your hips. Then, lift your heels off the ground and stand on your toes while moving your body a bit forward. This puts all the weight of your body on your toes and strengthens them. Do this regularly with 10 lifts in each set.


These are the foot and ankle exercises for seniors that have proven to be extremely effective. Taking care of your health from a young age is very important.