Whilst we should be spending time on stretching and releasing foot, ankle and lower leg tension, equally, we should be effectively strengthening this area as well. Now, you may think as runners we will have strong feet, Achilles and calves but this is not always the case… and insufficient strength here can lead to less than optimal running form and painful plantar fasciitus.
The plantar fascia is a dense, fibrous tissue that runs the length of the sole of the foot, that provides stability and arch support. Plantar fasciitis is an inflammation of this tissue, caused from excess stress with over-use and lack of protection ie. weakness. Wearing over-supportive shoes is a culprit!
Recent research shows that strength training greatly improves results in plantar fasciitis suffers, compared with only stretching and shoe supports. (Note, I do not promote shoe supports!)
Pain and inflammation in the plantar fascia (PF) can be due to weakness of the intrinsic muscles of the foot, which lie above this fascia. In today’s video I mention ‘strengthening the plantar fascia’, as the PF works so closely with its adjacent muscles – but it’s these small, unknown and neglected muscles that we want to strengthen, we can’t actually strengthen the fascia itself.
In this video I’ll share 3 great ways to strengthen the foot muscles, the big toe, Achilles and calves.
Recently, I did a short video on releasing the feet and low legs, so this is a great one to complement it.
So there you have 3 fairly simple, yet challenging, poses to build strength in the feet, in the big toe which we need for driving off of, in the Achilles so that it’s protected and in the calves.
– foot scrunches on block
– toe balance heel lifts
– high lunge knee tap (lift and drop heel)
How did you get on? Discover anything new or interesting?
Thanks so much for reading and watching!
See you next time,