Stretching is an important action to complete both before and after a workout. This movement improves flexibility and range of motion in your muscles. If you do not stretch properly, your muscles may tighten, making your workout less effective and putting you at risk of injury.
You likely think of stretching the muscles in your arms and legs when preparing to exercise, but your feet need to stretch too. A foot injury can develop in the many muscles and tendons without this effort, leaving you with lasting discomfort. Read on to learn three stretches for your feet that you can do to prevent injuries.
One of the easiest ways to stretch the muscles and tendons in your feet does not require outside tools. You can target the bottom of your feet as well as your toes when you spread your toes. You can complete this stretch while seated in a chair with your feet flat on the floor or while standing with your feet hip-width apart.
Then spread each of your toes apart from each other. Use a slow and gentle movement so that you do not aggravate your feet. Hold this position for several seconds and then release your toes to rest them. Repeat this motion 10 times if possible.
You can also try a strengthening stretch where you stand in place with your toes spread. Then you press the ball of your big toe into the ground without lifting any other part of the foot. This can target the arch and bottom of your foot.
To get a thorough extension in your feet and toes, you can employ a towel for a few types of stretches. You can sit on the floor, for instance, and place a towel around the toes of one foot. Then, gently tug the towel toward you.
The movement will pull the toes backward, stretching both the toes and the bottom of the foot. Hold this position for up to 30 seconds and then release. Do the same stretch with your other foot too.
Another foot stretch you do with a towel is completed while sitting in a chair. Lay the towel on the floor and then lift the edge of the towel with your toes. These towel lifts can build strength in the feet and toes while also warming up these muscles.
If you have difficulty or restrictions when it comes to moving your feet, you can use a golf ball or other spherical item to help you access the muscles on the bottom of your feet. Place your foot on this ball and move your foot across it.
The pressure of the ball against the muscles will release tension so that you will be less likely to hurt these areas of the foot. The action can also stimulate blood flow to these spots, improving circulation and therefore the health of these areas of the feet.