Category Archives: Exercises

Fixing Flat Feet and Injury Prevention with Foot Exercises

Fixing Flat Feet – Are Flat Feet Necessarily Bad?

It has been traditionally thought that flat feet (or planus foot) were bad, as it makes the body more prone to injury. While some types of flat foot may be bad, such as in the case of ruptured muscles or foot deformities, some studies show that the functionally of flat feet aren’t a problem.

This study provides high-level evidence that foot shape has little impact on pain, injury, and functioning among military recruits.1

The height of the arch appeared to bear no relationship to the gait. In shoe-wearers, the affection commonly called flat foot is often associated with more than ordinary eversion of the foot on standing and walking. This eversion is due not to the low arch, but to the associated weakness or stiffness of the joints of the foot and weakness of the muscles controlling them.2

Although the function of flat foot is not necessarily problematic, some studies show that it may lead to cartilage damage in older adults.

Planus foot morphology is associated with frequent knee pain and medial TF cartilage damage in older adults.

Because of such studies, focuse has shifted from arch height to foot function. In other words, the arch height may not be as important as long as you have functional and strong foot muscles.

How to Strengthen Arches

Muscles in the foot, like elsewhere in the body, can be trained and strengthened. Here are some exercises that can be done to help strengthen the arches and muscles in the foot:

Pen and Penny Exercise

Short Foot Exercise

Towel Curls

You may also want to consider purchasing toe separators, which help spread and strengthen the foot muscles. Correct Toes place your toes in their correct anatomical position, can be worn in shoes, and are designed to be worn during weight bearing activity for maximum results.

Here are some additional foot and lower leg exercises that can be performed at home:

  • Walking on heels
  • Walking on toes
  • Calf raises
  • Toe taps
  • Picking up Pencils

Additional Resources

1. Foot shape and its effect on functioning in Royal Australian Air Force recruits. Part 1: Prospective cohort study.
2. Conclusions Drawn From A Comparative Study of the Feet of Barefooted and Shoe-Wearing Peoples
3. Association of flat feet with knee pain and cartilage damage in older adults.