Your foot muscles and tendons are one of the focal points for balance and stability in your body. They support your body throughout each plane of movement, allowing you to exert strength and power during activities in which you’re traveling forward-backward, upward-downward, or side-to-side. Given the wide range of pressure your foot muscles and tendons can undergo, performing exercises that strengthen and maintain them can be an important ingredient in your workout regimen, sport, activity or lifestyle.
Towel Curls Exercise
Towel curls are a good exercise to strengthen your foot muscles and tendons, while helping to alleviate hammertoes, toe cramps or pain in the ball of your foot. Place a small or medium-size towel on the floor. Using only your toes, curl the towel toward you. Repeat with your other foot. Perform five reps with each foot, remaining relaxed throughout each rep. A small weight can be placed on the end of the towel to increase resistance.
Can Foot Roll
Massage your foot muscles and alleviate foot cramps and arch strain with can foot rolls. Sit on a chair and place a can on its side, on the floor. Place your foot on the can so that the side of the can is directly under the arch of your foot. Gently push your foot down onto the can while you roll the arch of your foot back and forth. Only roll the can forward until it touches the top of your foot’s arch and backward until it touches the bottom of your arch. Continue to roll the can back and forth for 20 seconds.
Standing Calf Raises
Although named for the way they target your calf muscles, standing calf raises are a good exercise for your foot muscles and tendons. Perform standing calf raises to strengthen your feet and improve your balance. Stand straight with your toes and the balls of your feet on a calf block or on a step. Extend your heels off the edge of the block, while placing your hand on a wall or railing for support. Slowly raise your heels by extending your ankles as high as you can, and then bend your ankles to your lower heels. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
If you live near a beach, walking in sand can help to massage your foot muscles, strengthen your toes and help with the general conditioning of your feet. Walk in the sand barefoot, parallel along the side of the shore, or, for increased resistance, start from the shoreline and walk perpendicular from the shoreline to the middle of the sandy area.