5 Quick Exercises to Strengthen Lower Legs
Keeping your lower legs strong is important to help you stay upright and moving forward. Having stronger legs allows you to support your upper body. Having stronger ankles means your response to changes in direction will be swift. And having stronger arches and toes means a better grip on the ground and less opportunity for foot pain.
Quick Calf Exercise: Calf raises are the easiest exercise you can do to strengthen your calves. Not to mention, they can literally be done almost anywhere! Calf raises are done by standing with your feet shoulder width apart. Start by slowly raising yourself up onto the balls of your feet and then bringing your heels back to the ground. Repeat this movement 15 times. Next, point your toes inward and repeat the lifting motion. Complete this movement 15 times. Finally, point your toes outward with your heels together (like a ballerina) and repeat the lifting motion 15 times.
Quick Achilles Exercise: This is more of a stretch, but still very beneficial to the health of your lower legs. Stand 8-10 inches in front of a wall and place your hands flat against the wall. Step one foot backward, keeping the knee straight. Then, bend the knee of the opposite leg while keeping both heels flat on the floor. Push your hips forward until the Achilles tendon and calf muscles can be felt stretching. Hold this stretch for 30 seconds before switching sides. Repeat three times on each side.
Quick Ankle Exercise: If you know your alphabet (and I hope you do) you can complete this exercise with ease. Sitting in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, raise one foot off the ground, about 3-4 inches. Using your foot, start to draw out the capital letters of the alphabet A-Z. Repeat motions on the opposite foot. If you want to do more, you can try spelling the lower-case letters as well.
Quick Arch Exercise: You can strengthen your arches and the underside of your feet with the use of a marble! While sitting in a chair (or standing) pick up a marble with your toes and put the marble into a container. Repeat exercise with opposite foot.
Quick Toe Exercise: With a towel on the ground, use your toes in a scrunching motion, to pull the towel closer to you. You can make this exercise more challenging by placing an object on the towel, such as a bottle of water or shoe.
With these 5 quick lower leg exercises, you will be on your way to building stronger bones, increasing your flexibility and having leaner muscle, which means a better functioning metabolism. Remember to perform new exercises slowly and try not to over do it. Instead, work on building up your repetitions or holding time, little by little.
If you are experiencing Achilles pain, shin splints or foot pain, remember, that foot pain is NOT normal. Call Dr. Hollander today at (707) 578-1222 to address your discomfort and find a solution today!