Foot workout at your desk

Posted 7 Feb '21

Foot workout at your desk

Home exercises have been increasingly popular during lockdown, as the gyms are closed and group classes are banned. If you’ve been joining in online with your fitness coach or made up your own routines, then as your podiatrist I’d just like to give you a little nudge to also consider your foot and ankle health. You won’t be able to pound the streets or push out all those burpees if you suffer with foot or ankle pain.

Here are a few simple exercises you can do, even whilst working at your desk, to build up your foot and ankle strength and mobility.

  • Toe curls. When sitting, put a towel under your foot and scrunch your toes so that you pull the towel steadily towards you.  This exercise strengthens the muscles along the top of your foot.
  • Under foot, ball roll. As it sounds, roll a ball around under your foot. If you suffer with heel pain, it will ease this; otherwise it’s great for your ankle mobility.
  • Good toes, naughty toes. Anyone who took ballet classes when they were little know exactly what this is. Point your toes to the ceiling and then point them down to the ground. This exercise is great for the muscles in your shins and your calves.
  • Foot circles. Point your leg out and then turn your foot in a circle. Try and go around the circle as slow as possible. This with strengthen the muscles in your ankle.
  • Ankle pull. Cross one leg over the other, and then pull your toes down towards your body. This stretches and conditions the muscles across the top of your foot.

If you are due a break or just fancy a stretch, have a go at these exercises.

  • Heel raise. Go up on to your tip toes, hold it and then slowly come down.
  • Whole leg and foot stretch. Sit with your legs together, out in front of you. Use a towel, have an end in each hand and the middle around the soles of your feet. Use the towel to pull your toes back, this help extend the stretch so you can really feel it down your hamstrings, calves and feet.

Do each of these exercises in suitable sets for your fitness levels, start at 5 repetitions per set and increase to 15 if you are able. If you could do these exercises daily- amazing but even if you only manage it weekly then it will reduce the likelihood of injuries and prevent some long term conditions developing.

If you fancy a challenge or want to entertain the children for a few minutes, find a few marbles and a cup and see whose toes can grab the most amount of marbles and put them in the cup in a minute.

Another fun thing to try with the family is to see who can splay their toes the widest. You’ll be amazed, it’s actually harder to do but with practice you can increase the amount your toes can go.


There are more exercise we can prescribe for people suffering with certain conditions, so if you suffer with heel pain or flat feet, please get in contact and we will recommend exercises to help you.

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