Stretching and warming up before exercising is important to help avoid injury. This also applies to your feet. By doing strength and flexibility routines you stretch the muscles, tendons, and ligaments of the feet to help prevent sprains and other injuries including plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, and shin splints.
Here are some simple exercises for your calves, toes, and soles that you can do at home or in the gym:
Since your calf muscle connects to your Achilles tendon, these exercises help stretch your feet:
- Edge lifts—Stand on the edge of a step on the balls of your feet and raise your heels up and down. Hold at the top and bottom briefly. Do ten repetitions.
- Standing calf stretch—Stand with one leg in front while keeping the back leg straight at the knee and bend the front leg at the knee to feel the stretch in the calf of the other leg. Repeat 4 times.
- While seated, cross one ankle over the opposite knee. Pull each of your toes down and hold for a few seconds and release. Also pull up and to the side, and hold and release. Repeat 10 times.
- Stand on one foot. Curl your toes in the other foot under and flex. Repeat 10 times.
The bottom of your feet are often neglected when it comes to stretching. Try these simple tips:
- Roll a tennis or golf ball underneath your foot to give the plantar fascia a good stretch.
- While sitting on the floor with legs outstretched in front, wrap a towel around the middle of your foot and pull on the ends with your hands and hold for one minute. Repeat 5 times for each foot.
Keeping your feet healthy with exercises is an excellent way to prevent injuries, but it’s nice to know that if you do hurt yourself that your foot specialist is ready to help.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.