Top of Foot Stretch

Top of Foot Stretch

What does the Top of Foot Stretch target?

Toe Extensors (Extensor Halucis Longus and Extensor Digitorum Longus)
Tibialis Anterior
Anterior (front) Ankle Joint

How to perform stretch:

Stand with one foot in front of the other
Bend toes under as pictured
You should feel the stretch on the top of the foot and in the front of the lower leg


The muscles involved in dorsiflexion of the ankle include Tibialis Anterior, Extensor Hallucis Longus and Extensor Digitorum Longus. Tibialis Anterior is attached at the front lateral of the tibia. While Extensor Hallucis and Digitorum Longus lie beneath Tibialis Anterior a little more laterally.

Their action is to invert (internally rotate) the foot.

The two Extensor Longus muscles along with Extensor Hallucis Brevis and Extensor Digitorum Brevis extend the toes.


Helpful in relieving tension in the front foot; increases flexibility of the ankle and the toes.

Regular Movement:

The ankle should be extended to the maximum limit, stretching the front and compressing the backside of the ankle. The total extent to which ankle can stretch is about 30-50 degrees from the normal standing position, when the foot is at right angle to the leg.

Toes do not flex to a significant extent and the Metatarso-phalangeal flexion mainly comprises of backward movement from extended to neutral position, with a total range of about 30-45 degrees.

The full extent of flexion is 30-40 degrees approx. in the proximal (towards the ankle) IP (inter-phalangeal) joints while 50-60 degrees at the distal (towards the nails) IP joints. By drawing the ankle backwards and exercising maximum stretch on these joints, the full extent of flexion is observed.