Plantar Flexion (Flexing)

This exercise strengthens the ankle and calf muscles. You may use ankle weights.

  • Stand straight, feet flat on the floor, holding onto the edge of a table or chair for balance.
  • Take three seconds to stand as high up on tiptoe as you can; hold for one second, then take three seconds to slowly lower yourself back down.
  • Do this exercise eight to 15 times; rest a minute, then do another set of eight to 15 repetitions.

As you become stronger, do this exercise first on your right leg only, then on your left leg only, for a total of eight to 15 times on each leg. Rest a minute, then do another set of eight to fifteen alternating repetitions. As you become stronger in this exercise, increase the amount of ankle weights and proceed with the same series of steps.

Knee Extension

This exercise strengthens the muscles in the front of the thigh and shin. Use ankle weights, if you wish.

  • Sit in a chair, with your back resting against the back of the chair. If your feet are flat on the floor in this position, you should place a rolled-up towel under your knees to lift them up. Only the balls of your feet and your toes should be resting on the floor.
  • Rest your hands on your thighs or on the sides of the chair. Take three seconds to extend your left leg in front of you, parallel to the floor, until your knee is straight.
  • Flex your foot so that your toes are pointing toward your head and hold this position for one to two seconds.
  • Take three seconds to lower your left leg back to the starting position, so that the ball of your foot rests on the floor again.
  • Repeat with right leg.
  • Alternate legs, until you have done the exercise eight to 15 times with each leg.
  • Rest, then do another set of eight to fifteen alternating repetitions.