Vionic Innovation Lab member and sports physical therapist Brian Hoke shares his top tips for stretching your feet after an intense workout or other vigorous exercise. While stretching your post workout feet is important, feet should be stretched just as regularly as you stretch your body.
1. Use a Golf Ball
A great way to stretch your feet involves placing a frozen golf ball under your foot’s sole. If you’ve ever used a foam roller, you may be familiar with the concept. Roll your foot over it from heel to toe and side to side, applying as much pressure as you want. This exercise should release some of the pressure in your feet, reduce soreness, and even help with swelling.
2. Stretch Out Your Calves
Aside from just stretching your feet, stretching your calf muscles is important, Hoke says. Especially if you wear heels, you may notice that your calf muscle is regularly experiencing serious pain and cramping. This is because heeled shoes actually shorten the calf muscles which can lead to pain. Moreover, most people are unaware of how to correctly stretch their calves. “A common mistake is to allow the arches to fall while stretching the calf muscle. It causes stress that can aggravate foot problems, like plantar fasciitis”, notes Hoke.
In order to properly stretch your calves start in a normal straight-leg calf stretch where both hands are pressed firmly against the wall and your feet are staggered vertically. Then, lift the arch in your back foot by putting more weight on the outer three toes and lifting your big and index toe away from the ground. Repeat this static stretching for about 15 seconds on each side.
3. Invest in Supportive Footwear
Finally, wearing running shoes with a proper amount of arch support is required for pain-free feet and calves. Luckily, Vionic shoes are designed to provide short term relief from plantar fasciitis, heel pain, and any other foot pain. Check out our comfortable walking shoes and browse our current fashionable styles.
4. Wear Compression Socks
In addition to wearing a running shoe with arch support, compression socks may also be necessary. Compression socks help to alleviate foot pain by promoting blood flow and providing compression along the arch. This support helps to maintain a small level of stretch throughout the plantar fascia which may help to ease arch and heel pain.
To learn more from Brian Hoke, visit Shape.com for the full article.