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The 10 Best Foot and Ankle Exercises for Seniors

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Senior man doing leg raises.

With age, our joints tend to start slowing down in their range of motion and ability to perform daily tasks. Foot and ankle movement can often be affected due to joint stiffness and reduced flexibility – something that is especially common among seniors.  

However, it doesn’t have to stay this way! Our senior community provides a lifestyle that aims to improve your overall health. 

Improving the strength of your feet and ankles through exercise can help improve mobility, reduce the risk of falls, promote good posture while standing or walking, and relieve muscular tension from your lower legs as well as nearby joints such as hips or knees. 

We will cover 10 different foot and ankle exercises for seniors which include: 

1. Calf Raises to Strengthen Your Calves

2. Heel Walks to Improve Ankle Mobility and Balance

3. Toe Taps for Improved Foot Movement Control

4. Toe Stretches to Loosen Up Tight Muscles and Tendons

5. Ankle Rotations for Increased Range of Motion in the Joints

6. Balancing Exercises to Improve Proprioception and Posture

7. Resistance Band Workouts to Strengthen the Feet and Lower Legs

8. Step-Ups for a Low Impact Cardio Workout 

9. Plantar Fascia Stretch to Relieve Pain in the Feet 

10. Towel Curls for Improved Grip Strength

  1. Calf Raises to Strengthen Your Calves

Anyone can benefit from having more muscular calves, whether it’s for better balance and stability during activities such as hiking or simply for aesthetic appeal. One exercise that can help you achieve stronger calves is calf raises

This simple exercise involves standing with your feet hip-width apart and slowly lifting your heels off the ground, then lowering them back down again. By adding calf raises to your workout routine, you can work the muscles in your calves and potentially reduce your risk of injury in the lower leg. 

  1. Heel Walks to Improve Ankle Mobility & Balance

If you’re looking for a quick and effective way to improve your ankle mobility and balance, heel walks may be just the solution you need. This simple exercise involves walking on your heels while keeping your toes lifted off the ground. 

Not only does this movement build strength in your ankles, but it also helps train your body to maintain balance and stability. Plus, it’s a low-impact exercise that can be done anywhere, making it a convenient addition to your daily routine. 

  1. Toe Taps for Improved Foot Movement Control

Adding some toe taps to your regular workout routine can do wonders for enhancing your foot movement control. By engaging your core and lower body muscles, this exercise not only improves your balance and coordination but also strengthens your ankles and lowers the risk of injury. Plus, it’s simple enough to do at home. All you need is a sturdy surface and some determination to see results. 

  1. Toe Stretches to Loosen Up Tight Muscles & Tendons

For many of us, our feet get the least amount of attention when it comes to stretching and exercise. Yet, tight muscles and tendons in our toes can cause discomfort and affect our overall mobility. Incorporating toe stretches into your daily routine can help alleviate stiffness and promote better circulation. 

Some effective stretches include toe curls, toe extensions, and toe spreaders. Simply setting aside a few minutes each day to focus on your toes can make a significant difference in your overall foot health. So go ahead, give your toes some love!

  1. Ankle Rotations for Increased Range of Motion in the Joints

Ankle rotations are a great way to improve the range of motion in your ankle joints. These exercises involve rotating your ankles in a circular motion, allowing you to loosen up any stiffness and increase your flexibility. Not only do ankle rotations promote better mobility, but they can also reduce the risk of injury and relieve any pain or discomfort you may be experiencing. 

Incorporating ankle rotations into your workout routine can help you achieve optimal joint health and overall improved functionality in your lower body. Try adding ankle rotations to your next warm-up or cool-down session and feel the difference in your ankle flexibility today.

  1. Balancing Exercises to Improve Proprioception & Posture

Balancing exercises are a fantastic way to enhance your proprioception and improve your posture. Proprioception is the body’s ability to sense its location, movements, and actions. Therefore, when you engage in balance exercises, you are increasing your awareness of your body’s position in space and enhancing your overall sense of coordination. Not only will this help you to avoid falls and injuries, but it can also improve your posture. 

Good posture not only looks great, but it also has numerous health benefits, such as improving breathing, circulation, and reducing the risk of back pain. Incorporating balance exercises into your workout routine can provide you with a multitude of benefits, and the best part is that they can be done almost anywhere with just a few modifications.

  1. Resistance Band Workouts to Strengthen the Feet & Lower Legs

Our feet and lower legs are the foundation of our body, yet they often get overlooked in our workout routines. However, incorporating resistance band exercises can help strengthen these crucial areas. Resistance band workouts are a low-impact way to target and tone the muscles in our feet and lower legs. These exercises can improve ankle stability, increase flexibility, and reduce the risk of injury. Plus, using resistance bands is an accessible and cost-effective way to add variety to your workouts. 

  1. Step-Ups for a Low-Impact Cardio Workout 

This simple exercise involves stepping up onto a platform or step and then stepping back down, and it can be easily modified to suit your fitness level. Step-ups are a great way to get your heart rate up without putting too much strain on your joints, making them a perfect option for anyone with knee or hip issues. Plus, you can use any sturdy surface as your step, so you can easily do this workout at home.

  1. Plantar Fascia Stretch to Relieve Pain in the Feet

Foot pain can be a major inconvenience, especially for those who are often on their feet. Luckily, there are ways to alleviate the discomfort. One effective method is the plantar fascia stretch. This simple exercise involves stretching the band of tissue that connects your heel to your toes. By doing this, you can relieve tension and reduce pain in the feet. It’s a quick and easy way to minimize discomfort and get back on your feet. So, if you’re experiencing foot pain, give the plantar fascia stretch a try and feel the relief for yourself.

  1. Towel Curls for Improved Grip Strength

If you’re looking to improve your grip strength, consider giving towel curls a try. This technique involves using a towel instead of a traditional dumbbell to work your forearms and strengthen your grip. 

To perform a towel curl, grip the end of a towel with one hand and hold it straight out in front of you. Then, using only your hand and forearm muscles, curl the towel up towards your shoulder. Repeat this movement for several reps, then switch to your other arm. Not only will towel curls help improve your grip strength, but they’ll also help you develop better forearm muscles.

Senior woman exercising with bands.

Improve Your Foot & Ankle Health

Now that you have a list of potential exercises to help your mobility, joints, and muscles, we recommend adding them to your daily exercise regimen. Contact Bentley Commons at Paragon Village for more information and book a tour today!

Written by bentley

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