June 23 2017
Etiquette expert Lizzie Post advises on how runners can take a running vacation without their family–and without hurting anyone's
You log your miles, and if you remember, squeeze in a quick post-run leg stretch. But the one area that many runners neglect is our feet.
The feet take an awful lot of pounding day after day from running, walking, strength training and intervals. It’s no wonder that when we finally sit down for a pedicure, we let out a big sigh of relief when the foot massage happens. Feet need TLC. They need stretching and self-massage daily to relieve the pressure put on them daily.
Bill Boland, Alignment Guru, Founder and Creator of Bodyfix Method™ knows how important the health of feet are to runners. If feet begin to hurt, performance may suffer. In order to keep you in tip-top shape, Boland shares a few foot exercises. Do these moves every day for 30 days and then every other day after that.
This exercise encourages stabilization of the hip joint. It also restores ankle flexibility and strengthens muscles of the lower leg and foot.
Foot Circles: Begin on your back. Extend one leg flat on the floor with toes flexed. Bend the other leg toward your chest and clasp your hands behind the bent knee. Circle the foot clockwise and then counter clockwise. Switch legs and repeat. Do 20 circles each way.
Toe Flexes: Begin on your back with one leg extended and toes flexed. Pull the other leg back to your chest. Flex the toes of the bent leg back toward the shin, and then reverse the direction to point the foot, slowly. Switch legs and repeat. Aim for 30 or 40 reps.
Lie on your back; start with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Take a strap and wrap it around the ball of the foot. Bring your leg up to a 45-degree angle. Keep glutes and shoulders on the floor. Hold for a minute and then switch legs.
Lie on your back. Start with knees bent, feet flat on the floor about hip-width apart. Wrap the strap around the arch of one foot. Engage your thigh while pulling the toes back with the strap. Keep the leg straight and raise it as close as you can to a 70 to 90 degree angle. Hold for one minute and then switch sides.
Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place a small pillow between your knees and apply slight pressure, just enough to keep it there. Keeping your upper body relaxed, begin to roll up onto the balls of your feet and then back down onto the heel. One rep equals an up and down. Do three sets of 15 reps.
This is a great exercise to restore flexibility to the arch of the foot and the toes.
Kneel down on the floor, feet flexed on your toes, and place a pillow under your buttocks and thighs. Sit back and down on the pillow toward your heels, slowly letting yourself sink into it. Reach down and pull your kneecaps back to ease the pressure. Hold for 30 seconds and gradually increase your time.
Stand about a foot away from a wall with your feet parallel. Put your toes and sole of one foot on the wall. Drop your hips toward the floor like you’re sitting in a chair. Let your heel rest on the floor, opening up the arch in that foot. Hold for one minute and then repeat on the other leg.