Exercises to Strengthen Foot Arch:3 simple exercises to strengthen the muscles in your foot and your foot arch. Stretching, strengthening, and orthotics helped me run again.

Custom orthotics

If you read the blog in 2014-2015, you’ll know most of it was me complaining about my foot pain and not being able to run.

I had fallen arches and a sharp pain behind the big toe mound of my feet. I saw multiple docs and no one could diagnose it as anything in particular.

Nowadays, you’ll notice less foot-talk and more running-talk. Someone asked me what had changed. Custom orthotics for one. But also, I’ve lessened my stretching and deep massage of my arches and instead incorporated strengthening exercises.

Here are three common foot exercises I do. I’ve read that they are good for general foot health, but remember that I’m not a medical professional (well, I am, but not in this field and I’m definitely not YOUR medical professional).

3 Exercises to Strengthen Foot Arch

1. Toe Curls

I don’t use a towel.

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

2. Short Feet

Be careful when you try these.

Don’t scrunch too intensely – you’ll cramp up, fall over, and yell loudly.

3. Toe Raises

The goal is to only move the target toe(s).

When my physical therapist first asked me to try this, I just made a constipated look for a moment and absolutely zero toes moved.

4. Bonus: Plantar Fascia stretch

Generally a good idea to stretch AND strengthen.

If you’ve never done this stretch before, do it with a chair or other support nearby to help you ease your weight onto your feet. Make sure your pinky toes are facing forward.

I like to tap the top of my feet on the ground afterward to “shake it out”.

Standing on your feet

Besides the few minutes you spend exercising your feet, make sure you’re standing on them correctly with weight distributed evenly.

I stood duck-footed for years, allowing my arches to rest in a collapsed position. I’ve since fixed that and my arches are higher for it.

Additional resources:

  • The Wet Test: Measure your arches. If you are trying to make progress toward something, you can outline your footprint in marker and save it for reference.
  • Duck Feet Problems: Some information on how out-turned feet can change the rest of your body
  • Footwear Guide by FitforLife coach
  • Rebuilding Your Feet Youtube video discussing proper stance and offering exercises to strengthen foot arch