by Christine Bishop
For athletes, keeping your feet strong and flexible is a must.
Exercises that improve range of motion and help limber up your feet may reduce your chance of getting hurt. Slow and gentle stretches will improve your flexibility. Strength exercises will allow your muscles to provide better support and protection for your foot as a whole.
You can do these gentle stretching and strengthening exercises three days per week or as often as every day to increase your range of motion and strength for lifelong foot health and vitality.
Toe raise, point, and curl
This three-part exercise will start to get your toes and feet moving.
Toe Curls – Variants
This movement will help you gain control over your toe muscles.
You can make this exercise harder by looping a rubber band around the toes of each foot.
This stretch is good to prevent or treat plantar fasciitis, which causes heel pain and makes running painful.
Big Toe Stretch
Keep good range of motion in your big toe with this three-part stretch. It feels good after having your feet crammed in dress shoes all day.
Tennis or LaCrosse Ball Roll
Rolling the bottom of your foot on a hard ball can ease arch pain and treat plantar fasciitis.
You can also use a frozen bottle of water if you don’t have any tennis balls handy.
Sit down comfortably. Once you’re sitting down, lift up one foot and simply rotate at the ankle -- five to ten times clockwise and then counter-clockwise.
Slant Board Exercises to Strengthen Feet and Ankles
You can either buy or make a slant board. It is commonly used to treatment runners’ injuries, but if used properly can help to prevent these injuries.
Click here or on photo for video
Remember, strong feet, strong runner!!!!