How should I do the plantar flexion and dorsiflexion exercise?


Plantar flexion and dorsiflexion are movements, which occur at the ankle joint. Plantar flexion occurs when the toes and foot are pointed down and dorsiflexion is pulling the foot up. The easiest way to perform plantarflexion exercises is by doing calf raises. To begin, stand close to a wall or object for balance. Rise up on to your toes, hold for two seconds and slowly lower heels back to the ground. To progress this exercise, try performing the exercise on one leg. If that is easy perform the exercise on one leg while holding on to weights. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.

For dorsiflexion exercises sit on the floor with legs fully extended. Begin with toes pointed downward. Place a cuff weight or cable resistance around the foot near the toes. Slowly bring the toes and foot toward your head while keeping the rest of the leg straight. Slowly allow the resistance to pull you back to the starting position. Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps. Switch sides and repeat.

Dr. Vonda Wright, MD
Orthopedic Surgery
Here's how to do the plantar flexion and dorsiflexion exercise:
1. Sit on the floor and place a rolled up towel under your ankle and lower calf.

2. To strengthen your calves (plantar flexion), secure the end of an exercise band around the ball of your foot, and hold the other end with your hands.

3. Press forward on the band like you are stepping on the gas pedal of your car, and hold for five seconds. Repeat until your calf is fatigued. Switch sides.

4. To work the front of your legs or your anterior tibialis muscle (dorsiflexion), remain sitting on the floor with a towel rolled up under your ankle. Secure one end of the band around a sturdy object, and place the other end around the ball of your foot.

5. Pull your foot back toward your head and hold for five seconds. Repeat this until the front of your leg is fatigued. Switch sides.

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