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The intrinsic musculature of the feet are small muscles with origins and insertions exclusive to the foot. Weakness is common in conditions such as excessive pronation and plantar fasciopathy  and in sporting populations such as dancers.

The following three exercises are great for strengthening these muscle groups.


  • Keeping the toes and heel planted on the ground slowly lift the ball of the big toe up towards the sky
  • Sustain the contraction for 3s and slowly return to the ground
  • Complete for 5-10 repetitions x3 day 


  • Ensure the toes do not scrunch and the ankle doesn’t roll outwards
  • Maintain contact the points of contact with the big toe and the heel at all times

Piano toes

  • With control lift the toe towards the roof from left to right and right to left. Aim for individual movement of each toe
  • Complete x5 through in each direction


  • Collapsing through the arch and scrunching the toes

Metatarsal curls

  • Position yourself on a seat with a towel or tissue underneath the toes
  • Gently squeeze the toes in to curl the towel and return to the starting position maintaining pressure through the ground


  • Collapsing of the foot, inability to maintain contact with the ground

Big toe push ups

  • Position the feet firmly on the ground directly underneath the knees
  • Elevate the big toe to the roof and slowly lower back to the ground 
  • Advanced: against resistance band


  • Scrunching of the other 4 toes
  • Flexion of the joints within the toe