Toe Flexor Strength
- Type of exercise: Isotonic
- Muscles used: Flexor digitorum longus, flexor hallucis longus. Intrinsic foot muscles.
- Good for: Developing strength. Improving range of motion in the metatarsophalangeal joints.
- When to use during rehab: Early stages
This exercise will require a rubber band, as well as something for the patient to sit on, that will support the entire length of their outstretched leg. If you’re doing this exercise in clinic a bench would be best, but if the patient is at home they could do it on a couch or bed.
- Have your patient sit with one leg on the bench, so that it is fully supported when straightened out.
- Next loop the rubber band around the foot, so that toes and heel are enclosed in the band.
- Have the patient pull-on the rubber band, while the ankle is in neutral position. The harder they pull on the band the harder the exercise will be.
- Have the patient curl their toes up against the rubber band as far back as they can.
- If the patient struggles to do this, create an isometric exercise by having them point their toes into the band, instead of the curling motion that is mentioned in the previous step.
In order to escalate the level of difficulty for the exercise you can repeat this exercise with your patient, but changing the angle of the ankle so that it is either dorsiflexed or plantarflexed. This will subtly change the pull of the muscles within the foot.