Living with a club foot is frustrating.
The pain, the limitation, always second guessing whether we should “sit this one out”.
Well, after 33 years I realised that one key to a happy life is to do my exercises EVERY SINGLE DAY. To work consistently within my range of motion.
Below are my best club foot exercises. They are gentle, fast, bring immediate relief, and give joint mobility and strength.
Of course, everyone’s club foot is different, so they may not be suitable for everyone… but hopefully they’ll be useful for some. These exercises were all recommended by my physio and doctors.
Follow the written instructions below or watch my Youtube video.
Club Foot Exercise 1 . Ankle Stretch and Release
This is a gentle exercise to get your ankle joint moving. For me, this also brings a lot of pain relief if my ankle is tight or in pain.
You’ll need a stretchy resistance band or something similar (this is one of my favourite and most used tools… and it’s great to take travelling because it takes no space).
Tie the band in a loop with about a hip width diameter.
Sit on the floor with your legs out-stretched and loop the stretchy band over your.
Gently turn your toes out and pull them back towards your face, pushing your heels out.
Hold for 10 seconds, then point your toes forward and hold for 10 seconds.
Repeat for 2-3 minutes.
Club Foot Exercise 2. Ankle Circles
Keep the resistance band over your feet, and slowly rotate your ankles to make small circles with your feet.
Do this for 10 seconds, then go the other way.
A nice adaptation of this is to lie on your back with your feet in the air and make ankle circles (without the band). You can put a yoga block beneath your tailbone for support.
Club Foot Exercise 3. Heel Lifts
This one really stretches and strengthens the toes and muscles in the foot, the Achilles tendon, calf, and shin.
Stand with your feet hip width apart.
Go up onto your toes, then back to flat, then lift your toes so you’re standing on your heels only.
Repeat 10-20 times.
You can can also do this on a balance board, or standing on a pillow.
Do the same, standing on just 1 leg. This is more intense, but gets each leg and ankle working more independently (important if you also have balance problems like me).
Clubfoot Exercise 4. Gentle knee bends
I really like this exercise because it’s a challenge for tight ankle, shin, and knee muscles.
Stand hip width apart.
Keep your torso straight and slightly bend your knees. Then straighten back up.
That’s it. Repeat for 1-3 minutes.
You can also try this on one leg at a time… If you’re anything like me, you’ll notice a huge difference in flexibility between your right and left.
I hope these bring you some relief!
If you haven’t already seen it, checkout my other post – My Best Club Foot Pain Relief Strategies
Soon I’ll post some more exercises, and a nice meditation I use. To keep up with new posts, follow OneLegShorter on Facebook.