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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Ankle Strengthening with Resistance Bands.

This is an email from one of my blog patients who is trying to strengthen his feet due to severe pain. 

  Hello Rich, how are you?  I have been slowly getting better.  I have been using the ankle-foot maximizer ( for foot strengthening every other day and have a question about strengthening.  There are 4 different color bands with this, yellow being easiest, then red, green and blue.  I am so glad I saw your video on not using the anterior tendon when strengthening the post tib!( This is what I've been doing in the evening 3x/week:


BFST heat for 20 minutes
foot circles 20 each direction
foot dorsiflex and plantar flex 20 reps each

Then start with afx bands: (Yellow for a couple weeks then Red)

Plantar flex         Slight knee bend    
Eversion             Slight knee bend
Inversion            Slight knee bend
Eversion             Knee almost 90 degree
Inversion            Knee almost 90 degree
Dorsiflex            Both slight and bent

Plantarflexion Ankle with Knee Slightly bent

When I do the 90-degree ones, after watching your video I decided to keep my foot slightly plantarflexed by putting a 1" lift under my heel as to not use anterior tendon.  I have been starting with 2x10 on all 6 of these movements.  Next time do 1x10,1x15.   Next session do 2x15 until I reach 2x20 on everything and then move to the red band, which I did just the other day.

Does this sound good?  Any recommendations or changes?
Thanks allot Rich, I hope all is well!

Dr Blake's comment: Almost my friend. The Plantarflexion of the ankle should be done first with the knee slightly bent, and then the knee at 90 degrees or so. The first part gets the gastrocnemius and the second part gets the soleus. The Eversion should be done with the knee slightly bent in both and the ankle first pointed (like in Ballet) and then the ankle at a right angle. The first gets the peroneus brevis and the second the peroneus longus. This the same for the inversion: pointed for the posterior tibial and ankle right ankle for the anterior tibial. You can actually add the third inversion exercise with the ankle pointed and the knee at a right angle to fire the soleus more. The dorsiflexion movement is only with the knee slightly bent. I hope this helps. 

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Thank you very much for leaving a comment. Due to my time restraints, some comments may not be answered.I will answer questions that I feel will help the community as a whole.. I can only answer medical questions in a general form. No specific answers can be given. Please consult a podiatrist, therapist, orthopedist, or sports medicine physician in your area for specific questions.