Every runner knows how important it is to do proper stretching before and after exercise. That goes double for the feet, which take the brunt of most workouts. Even for the average person, making a habit to stretch feet each day is a smart way to keep injuries and painful conditions like plantar fasciitis away.
Before you jump right into a stretching routine, it’s a good idea to check in with your podiatrist if you have any foot issues that should be considered. Once you have the green light, learning therapist-approved stretching techniques can go a long way in helping you maintain flexible, healthy feet that keep you in motion.
When it’s time to stretch your feet, find a comfortable place at home or in the office to zone in on these stretching exercises.
Resistance Band or Towel Stretch
This exercise to stretch feet is done from a sitting position. You will need a resistance band or towel to get started. If you choose a towel, fold it in half lengthwise. Place the center of the band or the towel between the ball of your foot and heel. Then, pull both ends of the band or towel toward you, stretching your foot and holding for 15 seconds. Perform the same stretch on your other foot. Repeat three times.
Big Toe Challenge
Using the same towel or band and sitting position as above, hold your big toe with your band or towel, while crossing one leg over the other. Pull the toe toward you and hold for 15 seconds. Perform the same stretch on your other big toe. Repeat three times.
The Frozen Water Bottle Stretch
One of the easiest stretches you can do while sitting down in a chair is the frozen water bottle stretch. To prepare for it, fill a two-liter plastic bottle with water and freeze it overnight. When you’re ready to stretch, put the frozen bottle on the floor and place it under your foot. Then apply continued pressure on the bottle with your foot and roll it forward and backward. Continue this motion for about one minute on each foot, repeating each foot three times.
Roll With It Tennis Ball Exercise
Just as you did with the water bottle in the above exercise to stretch feet, roll a tennis ball under your foot while seated, adding pressure to the ball as you move it. Continue this motion for about one minute on each foot, repeating each foot three times.
Stretch at Your Own Speed
Just as with any exercise, follow your own sense of judgement when you stretch your feet. Gradually increase pressure and flexibility as you feel comfortable doing so. Should you feel any pain, stop. If pain continues, schedule a visit with your podiatrist for additional guidance and support.
Take Control of Your Foot Health
If you would like to learn more about specific foot conditions and care, contact Foot Specialists of Birmingham for professional and comprehensive podiatry services and treatments.