Foot Flexibility Exercises

While much of your foot flexibility is determined by the looseness of the ligaments in your foot, gentle mobility exercises may help you maintain flexibility and relieve foot pain. Whether you're a dancer, runner, or just a shoe wearer, you may benefit from these exercises.

Toe raise, toe point, toe curl

Hold each position for five seconds and repeat 10 times. Recommended for people with hammertoes or toe cramps.

Toe Curl and Toe Raise Exercises

Golf ball roll

Roll a golf ball under the ball of the foot for two minutes. This is a great massage for the bottom of the foot and is recommended for people with plantar fasciitis (heel pain), arch strain, or foot cramps.

Golf Ball Roll Exercise

Towel curls

Place a small towel on the floor and curl it toward you using only your toes. You can increase the resistance by putting a weight on the end of the towel. Relax and repeat this exercise five times.  Recommended for people with hammertoes, toe cramps and pain in the ball of the foot.

Towel Curls

Marble pick-up

Place 20 marbles on the floor. Pick up one marble at a time with your toes and put it in a small bowl. Do this exercise until you have picked up all 20 marbles. Recommended for people with hammertoes, toe cramps and pain in the ball of the foot.

Marble Pickup

Sand walking

Any chance you get, take off your shoes and walk in the sand at the beach. This exercise massages your feet as well as strengthens your toes and provides good general foot conditioning. Watch out for glass!

Sand Walking

Contributors/Reviewers: Robert Leland, MD; F. Ray Nickel, MD

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