We’ve all heard that stretching and warm ups are important for exercise and recovery, but many people are unsure of how to do it properly. Stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments can not only prepare the body for activity, but can also help to prevent injuries such as ankle sprains, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, and shin splints. Here are some easy exercises you can do even in the comfort of your own home.
- Sit on a chair and cross one ankle across the opposite knee. Pull each toe down and hold for several seconds before slowly releasing. Pull up and to the side as well, and repeat at least 10 times.
- Stand on one foot and curl the opposite foot’s toes under. Stretch the top of the toes by applying gentle pressure until you feel a stretch.
- Stand with one leg in front of the other facing a wall and bend the front leg with the back knee straight or bent until you feel a stretch. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat 3 times.
- Stand with the balls of your feet on an edge of a step. Lower heels slowly and hold for 30 seconds before returning to a neutral position. Repeat 3 times.
- Roll a small ball on the bottom of your foot to massage the plantar fascia.
- Sit on the floor with legs straight in front. Wrap a strap or towel around the midfoot and hold ends with hands. Pull slowly to feel a stretch and hold for 30 seconds.
If you notice any discomfort during any of these exercises, consulting with a podiatrist can help determine the cause. At Your Next Step, our team of podiatrists Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen are committed to helping patients prevent and treat a variety of foot and ankle injuries. Whether you have a sports injury, toe deformity, or need custom orthotics, we are here to help! Please contact us to schedule an appointment at one of our offices in Ardmore, Paoli, and Downingtown, PA.