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Your feet are the foundation of your whole body, and as such it’s where your movement originates. The range of motion in your feet and ankle, or lack thereof, moves right up the chain, and impacts the movements of the rest of your body. The feet are a part of every one of our movements whether we like it or not

Each foot has 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, all of which work together to provide support, balance and mobility. Approximately 25% of the bones are found in our feet. This unique design enables the foot to handle hundreds of varied movements and tons of force everyday.

There are many issues that can affect our feet and cause generalized foot pain. Scar tissue from previous ankle and foot injuries can limit movement and flexibility in the foot, as can plantar fasciitis. Flat feet and high arches as well as pronation and supination all affect the performance and functionality of our feet and ankles. Clearly, the footwear that we choose can actually contribute to the health of our feet and ankles. An example of this is the shortening of the achilles tendon that occurs when we wear shoes with heels, and the changes in foot structure and functionality when we wear shoes that are rigid and don’t bend or that are too tight. Some people have said that high heels are the junk food of footwear. The types of shoes that you choose to wear and how they fit makes a big difference in our movement patterns as well as the health of not only our feet but also our entire body.

Here are some exercises to foster foot and ankle health and flexibility.

It may seem unusual to recommend single-leg squats for foot and ankle health, but as Charlie Weinhoff says, “I’ve never seen a foot or an ankle that a hip couldn’t fix.” We have to work beyond the localized pain in our feet and ankles to identify and resolve the underlying issues.

Keep moving and stay in touch!

Additional Resources:


  • Simple Steps to Foot Pain Relief by Katy Bowman
  • What the Foot by Gary Ward


Rebecca Rice-Wilson

Author Rebecca Rice-Wilson