These muscles are powerful as they propel the body forwards and help to stabilize the foot and ankle.    With the exception of Soles they all work across more than one joint, and because of this, the Long Flexors of the toes are most capable in this capacity when the metatarsophalangeal joint is extended.     

The gastrocnemius is most efficient when the knee is extended, while the function of Soles is mainly postural to ready the leg on the foot. 

Tibialis Anterior is primarily an inverter and supports the longitudinal arch of the foot, but it can assist dorsiflexion. 

Assisted Exercise for the Plantar-flexors – With the patient inside lying, manual assistance is given by the physiotherapist. 

Examples of free exercises for the plantar-flexors:


  • Long sitting or half sitting (heals free); Toe pointing, alternately. 
  • Prone lying (Feet over the end of plinth); Toe pointing, alternately.
  • Sitting; heel raising


  • Half standing; one heel raising·
  • Reaches grasp high standing; heel raising and slowly lowering
  • Standing; bob jump, hopping or dancing steps.

Resisted Exercise for the Plantar flexors,  

Manual resistance can be offered to the muscles with the patient in positions such as long sitting or prone long(with knees bend), care being taken to see that resistance is given on a sufficient area of the sole to avoid straining the intertarsal Joints and plantar structures.    

The action of the Long Flexors can be localized by fixing the ankle joint in dorsiflexion and resisting the toes. Mechanical and auto-resistance is given by a treadle machine or it can be arranged thus- Suitable activities induce walking, running, jumping, balance walk sideways or up to an incline, cycling and rowing.   


These muscles rotate the foot inwards, chiefly at the transverse. Tarsal and subdeltoid joints, and maintain the longitudinal arch of the foot, in addition to assisting movements of the ankle joint. 

Assisted Exercise for the Investors, With the patient in a long sitting or half lying, the physiotherapist gives manual assistance by fixing with one hand above the ankle and the other grasping around the heel with the sole of the foot resting on the forearm,  Movement then occurs around a vertical  axis and gravity is eliminated.   

Alternatively, a swing board can be used by the patient,the slope of the board on which the foot rests being altered by pulling on the ropes.