4 exercises for stronger feet and ankles

Seated calf stretch

WHY IT HELPS Increases flexibility in the arches; eases arch pain.

HOW TO DO IT Sit as shown. Grab your right toes and gently pull them back, stretching the plantar fascia. Hold for 10 counts. Repeat 10 times; switch feet. Do after running.

Calf stretch

WHY IT HELPS Relieves foot pain.

HOW TO DO IT Stand facing a wall. With your heels down, rotate the back knee from the 12 o’clock to one o’clock position; lean until you feel a stretch in your upper calf. Hold for 30 seconds; switch legs. To target your lower calf, bring your back foot in 15cm, bend your knees and repeat. Do after running.

Toe spread

WHY IT HELPS Improves balance and helps you roll your feet through their full range of motion.

HOW TO DO IT While seated, place a thick rubber band around your toes and spread them apart. Hold for five seconds. Repeat 10 times on each foot. Do three times a week.

Calf drops

WHY IT HELPS Strengthens the calf muscles and tendons near the heel.

HOW TO DO IT Stand on a step with your forefeet on the edge. Push up into a calf raise. Lift one leg and drop the heel of your other leg, taking up to 10 seconds to lower it. Return to the start; repeat 10 times on each foot. Do three times a week.