The posterior tibial tendon is located in the lower leg and assists with several important functions of the foot. Unfortunately, the posterior tibial tendon is prone to weakness and can be responsible for conditions such as flat feet or inward collapsing of the ankles. Exercise for the posterior tibial tendon is important to help prevent these conditions and improve leg stability. Two exercises in particular can help strengthen the posterior tibial tendon.
The posterior tibialis muscle is located underneath the calf muscles of the lower leg and runs from the back of the knee to navicular bone in your foot. Its origin is around the top of the tibia and fibula bones in the leg. The tendon then runs down the back of the leg and inserts into some of the bones in the foot with the main foot attachment at the navicular bone.
The primary function of this muscle is to assist in leg stabilization. Exercises such as running and walking require continuous contraction of the posterior tibial tendon to maintain balance. The posterior tibial tendon can also create inversion of the foot and plantar flexion at the ankle.
A cable inversion exercise can help strengthen the inversion movement of your posterior tibial tendon. Sit perpendicular to a cable tower that has an attachment point near the floor. Put a foot harness around your foot and attach the harness to the pulley system of the cable tower. Now stand straight-up, but face perpendicular to the tower. Now, turn your foot inward by rotating at the ankle. Turn as far as you can, and then return the weight back to the starting position. Repeat this motion at least 20 times.
Toe Walking on Unstable Pad
Since the posterior tibialis is responsible for assisting with plantar flexion and stabilization of the lower leg, toe walking on an unstable pad is an effective way to strengthen the posterior tibial tendon. To perform this exercise, place a 6-foot by 6-foot soft pad on the floor. Now, step up on to the pad. Lift your heels off of the ground and walk forward and backward on the pad for 60 seconds. Repeat three times.
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