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How to Exercise Feet Arches

Updated on June 18, 2011

Six percent of the United States population suffers with fallen arches or flat feet, according to the Illinois Podiatric Medical Association. Doctor prescribed exercises, physical therapy and the right kind of shoes helps flat feet sufferers regain some shape to their feet. Of the remaining 94 percent that have slight arches to high arches, the need for exercise is equally important. With the help of some household items, you can train and exercise your feet and your arches without spending money for equipment or classes at the gym.

Use a Towel

Sit upon the floor or a bed and bring your knees to your chest. Fold the towel. Hold the towel out in front of you and lift your foot into it, placing the toes and the ball of the foot against the towel. Push your foot out, stretching your leg straight in front of you until the calf is resting on the floor or the bed. Pull some resistance into the towel drawing your toes and foot back at the ankle, and then press your toes forward, pointing them as far as you can while holding the resistance with the towel. Do this at least ten times and then switch to the foot on the other leg. This exercise helps strengthen the arch and the ankle of each foot.

Use a Wall

In your home, find the wall free of furniture and decorations. A closed and locked door will work just as well. Stand with your back up against the wall, as if you are checking your posture. Slowly back up against the wall until you come all the way up onto your toes. Hold your posture. Slowly maneuver back down to standing flat on your feet. Do this at least five times or until you feel the burn in your calves. This exercise helps strengthen your calves, ankles and helps shape the arches of your feet.

Use Floor or Bed

Lie on your back and place your feet flat against the wall. Move your body into a comfortable position that will allow you to walk your feet up the wall. Do not allow your feet to come off the wall. Your feet should remain flat against the wall and your toes pointed as you near the point of stopping. Hold the position and then walk your feet back down the wall the same way. Repeat this until you feel the burn in your calves. This exercises your calves, ankles, and helps shape your arches.

Use a Small Bouncy Ball

Buy the little ones out of a gumball machine or use the one your children possess. Sit on the floor or in a chair and place your feet flat against the floor. With your toes, try to pick up the small bouncy ball. Once you have it held with your toes, lift your foot up off the floor and stretch your leg straight out and hold for a minute. Bring your leg back in and then set the bouncy ball onto the floor. Use the toes of your other foot to repeat the same step. This exercises the arches of your feet.

Use a Friend

Use your friend as resistance as you flex your toes. As your friend applies resistance to the top of your toes by pressing gently down, flex your toes upward against him. You can shift the resistance by having your friend push against your toes as you push. Massage his back or chest with your feet using your toes to press into him. This exercises the calves, ankles and strengthens the arches of your feet.

Use the Alphabet

Stretch your legs out on the floor in front of you, trace the alphabet with the toes of your feet. You can sit in a chair as well, and lift your legs straight out in front of you. Press your toes forward as if pointing them and trace the capital letters of the alphabet in the air. Do this slowly for maximum benefit. This exercise helps strengthen the calves, ankles and works to strengthen the arches of your feet. Used regularly in physical therapy, this exercise helps individuals with ankle injuries.


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