Plantar Fasciitis... A runner's worst nightmare... However, there is a cure. Do these 5 stretches and exercises to get a leg up on pain. They're quick, they're easy, and they could make a world of difference.
- Calf Raises: This exercise is extremely easy and helps strengthen your tendons in your heel and calf to provide added support in your arch. To do this, raise up on the balls of your feet as high as you can. Slowly lower yourself back to the ground. Once you can do this on the ground for 3 sets of 10, try it on the stairs.
- Step Stretch: One of the best ways to avoid Plantar Fasciitis is to improve flexibility in your Achilles tendon and calf. The tighter your calf, the more overloaded and overworked your arch becomes. To do this, stand on the edge of a step/stairs. Have your toes on the edge of the step and your heels handing off. Lower your heels down so that the top of your foot is pointed at your shin. Hold for 10 seconds and repeat.
- Doming: Working the arch muscles and the tibialis posterios helps control excessive pronation. While standing, press your toes downward into the ground like you were digging into sand. This should make your foot form an arch. Release and do three sets of 10 reps per foot.
- Toe Spread and Squeeze: Once again, we want to target the muscles that support your arch. While sitting, loop a small resistance band around your toes. Spread them and release. Place a toe separator (like you would find in a nail salon) in between your toes. Squeeze your toes inward, and release. Repeat both exercises 10 times each.
- Towel Curls: Working the foot flexor muscles that run along your arch help increase strength within the arch and overall foot. To do this, place a towel on the floor, place your foot on the towel, and scrunch the towel towards you. Hold this position and slowly unravel your foot, pushing the towel back to the start position.