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  • Writer's pictureLuke Nelson

Runners: how strong is your big toe?

Runners: how strong is your big toe?

Your big toe plays an important role in stabilizing your foot & helps provide propulsion when running. Deficiencies in intrinsic foot strength may impact balance (Quinlan 2020) & increase the load on the plantar fascia, ankle, calf & Achilles tendon.

🔍Testing position

We've played around with different testing setups but like to use our force plates to measure as seen in this video.

🎯What is normal?

We like to see upwards of 20% bodyweight in force in our runners, & no greater than a 10% difference between sides. This is similar to the numbers found in the literature. (Mickle 2016, Spink 2010).

💪How to get strong toes?

Some of our favourite options are:

🦶Banded big toe flexion

🦶Weight calf raise with toe extension

👋Save this for later & share the big-toe love!


  • Mickle, K., Angin, S., Crofts, G., & Nester, C. (2016). Effects of Age on Strength and Morphology of Toe Flexor Muscles. The Journal of Orthopaedic and Sports Physical Therapy, 46(12), 1065-1070.

  • Quinlan, S., et al. (2020). "The evidence for improving balance by strengthening the toe flexor muscles: A systematic review." Gait Posture 81: 56-66.

  • Spink, M., Fotoohabadi, M., & Menz, H. (2010). Foot and Ankle Strength Assessment Using Hand-Held Dynamometry: Reliability and Age-Related Differences. Gerontology (Basel), 56(6), 525-532.

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