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  • Writer's pictureKeep It Moving PT & Wellness

Week 15: Standing Foot Screw

Purpose: To establish a strong tripod of the foot in a weight-bearing position. This is when the big toe, the little toe and the heel are centered onto the ground. This exercise emphasizes strength and increases kinesthetic awareness of the medial arch of the foot. This exercise is inspired by the group at Gait Happens.

What It Targets: Activation of the gross and intrinsic foot muscles: Abductor Hallicus, Flexor Hallicus Longus (FHL), Posterior Tibialis, Anterior Tibialis, Flexor Digitorum, Fibularis Longus


1) Stand with feet hip width apart

2) Lift up the heel of the leg you are working, and rotate the heel 45 degrees outward

3) Anchor down the big toe into the floor

4) Rotate the other 4 toes to the outside as you lower down your heel slowly

5) This causes nice strong contact of the medial arch/column of the foot and big toe

with the floor and creates a stable tripod

6) Hold for 5-30 seconds and repeat as prescribed

Main Cues:

  • Maintenance of the foot tripod is the most important part = equal weight-bearing on big toe, pinky toe, and center of the heel

  • Tension should be felt most in the medial (inside) arch of the foot

  • Do not curl your toes, instead focus on bearing weight on the ball of your foot

Common Compensations/Adverse Effects:

  • Cramping in the foot

Correction: This is okay! This is your brain’s reaction to a new stimulus. Shake it off and repeat again. Once you gain more motor control of this task, cramping will lessen. Practice makes better!

  • Pain in any portion of the foot

Correction: Start by performing this exercise in a seated position and work your way up to placing more weight-bearing into the involved foot as tolerated

  • Excessive curling of the toes

Correction: Do less. Decrease the effort intensity and place more weight on the uninvolved foot to allow the toes to relax

Why We Love It:

  • Establishes a solid foundation for even weightbearing throughout the entire foot

  • Helps prevent formation of bunions!

  • Uses kinesthetic awareness to reference points (big toe, pinky toe, center of heel) to access this ideal foot position

*Disclaimer: Not all exercises are suitable for everyone, and participation in novel activities may increase the risk of adverse effects such as pain, soreness, or injury. Please consult with your Physician or a local Physical Therapist prior to attempting any exercise you feel uncomfortable performing. If adverse reactions occur, discontinue performance of the exercise and consult your physician or trusted clinician for evaluation.


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