Toe Flexor Isometric

Key notes

  • Type of exercise: Isometric, strength
  • Muscles used: Flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus. Intrinsic foot muscles.
  • Good for: Developing strength. Improving balance and co-ordination.
  • When to use during rehab: Early stages

Equipment options

You don’t require any equipment to complete this exercise, other than the patient’s own body weight. However, if you find that they are struggling with balance, a broom pole or wall can be used as support.


  1. Have your patient stand on their tiptoes, so that their body weight is evenly distributed across the metatarsal heads and the tips of the toes.
  2. While keeping their body straight, have them lean as far forwards as they can so that their toes are taking the force of their body weight.
  3. Once they’ve held this position for a few seconds, have them return to their original stance, with their body weight now being supported by the metatarsal heads.
  4. If the patient is unable to balance, you can give them a broom pole to hold onto as they complete the exercise. It’s important to ensure they don’t grip the pole too tightly, as the arm muscles will be used instead of those around the ankles.
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