The following exercises from the bowler’s programme are designed to help strengthen your feet and ankles, even if you do not have any injuries.
These are good for preventing injury and strengthening the lower half of the body. Always remember to contact a physiotherapist if you’re experiencing any pain.
Toes-in heel drops
Begin this exercise by standing on the bottom step of a flight of stairs or on another elevated surface that’s stable. Stand so that your toes and the front half of your foot are on the surface and the back half is hanging off the back of the surface.
Ensure you have something to hold on to during this exercise. Start by lowering your heels as low as you can below the height of the step, then lift them as high as you can. Repeat this for the desired number of repetitions.
Knee to wall Achilles stretch
This exercise is particularly good for increasing the flexibility of the Achilles tendon and the muscles at the back of the leg, along with increasing the mobility of the ankle joint.
Begin by placing your foot roughly 5cm back from a wall. Without lifting your foot or heel off the floor, bend the knee until your knee cap is touching the wall. Lift your foot and place is 1-2cm further back from the wall and repeat the stretch.
The aim is to keep moving you foot further and further away from the wall until your knee can no longer touch it without lifting the heel.
Single leg hip bridge
Lying flat on your back, flex your knees up so that they bend to 90 degrees and your feet are flat on the floor. Rest your hands at your sides and your palms are flat against the floor. From this position, raise your hips and pelvis.
Contract your gluteal muscles as much as you can so you are able to raise your hips higher into the air. Maintain this position while you slowly lift one foot from the ground.
Be careful not to let your pelvis shift to one side or drop on the side that corresponds to the leg you have raised. Slowly lower your hips back down slowly from this position until your hips are just above the floor and then raise them back up into the are.
Repeat this exercise of raising and lowering for the desired number of repetitions.