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  • Dr. Cathy Schmidt

Intrinsic Foot Exercises- Strengthen

Updated: Aug 6, 2019

Intrinsic foot muscles have their origins and attachments within the foot, meaning they don't control ankle motion. These muscles are very important, especially in a world where our feet have become de-conditioned by supportive footwear. They include: Extensor Digitorum Brevis, Extensor Hallucis Brevis, Abductor Digiti Minimi, Flexor Digitorum Brevis, Abductor Hallucis, Lumbricals, Flexor Digiti Minimi, Quadratus Plantae, Adductor Hallucis, Flexor Hallucis Brevis and the Plantar and Dorsal Interossei.


Basically, they are small muscles that control grip, move our toes and support our arch as we walk and weight bear. They are also crucial for proprioception and balance. These muscles become very underused because we rely on our shoes to control our movement as we walk. This can contribute to problems such as collapsed arches, plantar fasciosis, bunions and repetitive ankle sprains. As you start to activate these muscles, it will feel very difficult and you may experience foot cramps at first, but this should improve with practice!


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