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Toe Tapping Exercise for Flat Feet

The small muscles on the underside of the foot can play a big role in supporting the arch. One of the exercises I found helpful in strengthening the muscles that support the arch is toe-tapping, or what I like to call Toe Yoga.

Toe Yoga

  1. Start with your foot flat on the floor
  2. Try to lift your big toe into the air while keeping the other toes down
  3. Then switch and try to lift your other four toes while keeping the big toe pressed down
  4. Keep alternating back and forth until the muscles on the inside of your arch start to feel fatigued

Toe Yoga Flat Feet

Purpose of Toe Lifting

This exercise trains the muscles attached to toes to work independently of each other and the other muscles in the foot.

When I first started my feet would cramp while doing these toe lifts. That’s how I knew it was targeting the right spots. After a few weeks, it became easier to move the toes independently. I also find it helpful to focus on holding an arch in the foot while doing this exercise.

This is an exercise that took me a while to do properly. It’s one of the exercises listed in the basic program because I think toe dexterity is important for maintaining healthy feet.

Important: This post is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be taken as medical or physical therapy advice.

About James Speck

James is a physical therapist with over 20 years of experience. He created this site to share his own journey toward better arches. Read more

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9 thoughts on “Toe Tapping Exercise for Flat Feet”

  1. Right now, the exercises I have on the site are scattered in different posts. If you look around you should be able to find most of them. I’m working on getting better examples of the exercises up on the site. I’ll make them easier to locate once everything is posted.

    • please do that (making a specific page for excercises ) fast because i seriously want to get rid of those flat arches down there because in the Indian military people with fallen arches are rejected .Fortunately, i have got two years left for that ( army selection ) .Moreover , i wanted to ask whether inherited fallen arches can be corrected .

  2. Great content! I have an issue of ankle swell – primarily on one side, up to the knee. I’ve had tons of xrays, MRI’s & the gamut…all to no avail. The swell responds well to ice & elevation. The pain under feet (both) feels like my foot’s ripping underneath with every step. I like the idea of this exercise. Let me know if there are anymore tips or helpful hints you think might help my situation!

    Thanks again — Awujo

  3. Hi James,

    This is a terrific resource; thanks so much for sharing this info! Just seconding the request for a specific exercises section. Certainly you are busy with other things but it would be super helpful for this of us that follow your site. I do realize you can poke around the different posts and found the exercises, and just wanted to chime in with a big thank you and a little request to centralize the exercises somewhere on the site.

    All the best,

  4. Hi james,
    Thanx a lot for such a resourceful site. I was depressed the day I realised I had flat foot. I see all the exercises you have mentioned are scattered over the website. Can you consolidate all those exercises to one spot so that it would be easier to find all of them at one place and in one click.

  5. Is it ok to place .your heel of right foot down on your left toes , like a weight to stop them coming up and then lift your left big toe up and down?

  6. I’ve had flat feet all my life. They never bothered me, (or so I thought). Three years ago I had the flu, and after inactivity, I had unexpected discomfort in my right ankle. I go to a gym, but haven’t been able to use the treadmill the way I used to. I went to my Medical Doctor. He gave me a new anti-flammatory (NSAID). I’d had a shoulder problem in the past, and after a long medical doctor run around, an Osteopath finally referred me to a Physical Therapist who specialized in sports medicine. My shoulder no longer bothers me!

    I asked my MD for a referral to a physical therapist, and have learned it’s going to take some time. I just found your website, (haven’t finished everything yet), but am looking for everything I can learn to incorporate into my daily life. Thanks for being here, and keep up the great work! Bob

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