Prevent foot pain with these 5 stretches
By: Robyn Weisman, ACE-CPT, B.S., Exercise Science & Physiology, Certified Personal Trainer, Fitness and Lifestyle Coach @Robyn_weisman_
At some point we’ve all suffered aches, pains, or discomfort in our feet. Poor-fitting or worn-out shoes — be it sneakers, high-heels, or loafers — can cause or aggravate pain throughout your lower body. Even with the right shoes, strenuous exercise, such as running or over training, takes a toll on your puppies. Here are some easy injury prevention techniques that focus on for your feet and calves. Good news is these exercises are can be done just about anywhere in your home, office and gym!
Tennis Ball Roll
Duration: Roll for 30 seconds to 1 minute on each foot at least once per day.
Begin by placing a tennis ball underneath your heel.
Keeping your hips as level as possible (also try to bend your leg), begin rolling your foot forward and back on the ball.
Press into the ball as much as it feels comfortable. Stop at any specific tight spots and let your weight sink into the ball to release tension in your muscles and connective tissue.
Tip: Stand against a wall to help with balance and with controlling the ball underneath your foot as you roll it. Avoid using excessive pressure as it can damage the structures of the feet.
This stretch will help release the calf muscles, strengthen the lower leg and allow for better foot and ankle function
Duration: Hold for two seconds and then release. Aim for at least 8 reps per leg.
Stand about 1 1/2 arm’s length facing a wall.
Step forward with you right foot; keeping both feet flat on the floor.
Place your hands on the wall at chest height. Press your right knee toward the wall so you feel a stretch in your left (rear) calf.
Flexed-Feet Wall Stretch
Having your calves consistently in the flexed position not only makes for tightness in the back of your lower legs, but it also affects your posture, which can lead to lower-back pain. This stretch targets both the lower legs and back.
Duration: Hold for 15 to 20 seconds.
Stand about 2 feet in front of a wall. Place your hands on the wall in front of your shoulders.
Walk your hands down the wall as you lean back, lifting the toes and shifting weight into the heels.
Lastly, walk your hands as far down as you need to in order to feel a nice stretch in the calves and lower back.
Towel Foot Stretch
Give the soles of your feet and your tight calves some relief with this basic stretch using a hand towel.
Duration: Hold for 20-30 seconds and then try it with the left foot.
Sit on the floor or mat with both legs straight out in front of you.
Fold a hand towel in half, and hold on to each end. Flex your right foot so your toes are pointing to the sky. Hook the middle of the towel around the ball of your right flexed foot.
Bend your elbows back and gently apply pressure by pulling the towel toward your chest while keeping your right leg straight and foot flexed.
Tip: To increase the stretch in your calf, bend your right knee slightly
Downward Dog pose
Duration: Hold for 30-45 seconds.
Start on your hands and knees (like you’re crawling), shoulders over wrists, toes tucked.
Make a tall upside-down “V” shape by lifting hips straight up, sinking upper chest and shoulders, and relaxing down the backs of legs into heels
Tip: Relax upper chest toward the floor until arms and body are in the same line. Inhale your belly and hips up high and relax down through your heels on the exhale.
Robyn provides in-home customized personal training, corrective exercise programs and nutrition counseling services in the Center City, Philadelphia area. She specializes in corrective exercise for improved movement, muscular imbalances, and injury prevention. As well as weight loss/gain, body sculpting, overall strength conditioning and lifestyle improvement. For more information, questions or comments please visit resultsbyrw.com.