What Are The Best Plantar Fasciitis Exercises?
Plantar Fasciitis exercises should always include calf strengthening exercises. As we discussed in our previous blog What Is The Best Plantar Fasciitis Treatment? stretching will not cure this condition.
Historically Plantar Fasciitis exercises have focused on stretching and rolling alone, with additional aids such as insoles and gel pads. Commonly these will give short term relief BUT will not get to the root cause of the problem. The following 5 exercises incorporate a range of mobility, stability and strengthening exercises for runners.
Targeting both the foot and ankle, as well as the trunk and pelvic control. This is a key area where lack of control can have a knock on effect causing overload to the foot & Plantar Fascia. Ensuring all the pieces of the puzzle are tested allows us to get a full picture as to the root cause of ‘WHY?’ you may get Plantar Fasciits in the first place, as discussed in our blog on Functional Movement Screening. This is an essential part of our Run Lab assessments.
Take a look at the videos below for the top 5 Plantar Fasciitis exercises.
*If you experience any pain during or after each exercise then stop immediately and consult a Physiotherapist*
Plantar Fasciitis Exercises
Spiky Ball Release
Goal: Plantar Fasciitis exercises to improve Plantar Fasciitis mobility & reduce soreness when sitting to stand and walk first few steps
How often?: Daily for a few minutes at a time whenever sat for long periods
Instructions: Ideally barefoot (can be done with socks or tights on). Roll the ball on the soft arch part of the foot only. DO NOT push onto the heel bone (sore bit). Start lightly and increase the pressure gradually. You should feel less soreness and/or tightness when getting up to walk
Goal: Plantar Fasciitis exercises to improve the medial arch stability & strengthen the gluteal muscles
How often?: Aim towards x3 sets of x15 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day
Instructions: Ideally barefoot (or in trainers if more comfortable). Standing with a resistance band around the thighs. Slightly bend the knees to a mini squat position. Squeeze the knees outwards against the band keeping the feet planted on the ground. You should see and feel the inside arch of the feet raise and lower slightly as you move out and back in. You should also feel the buttock muscles working
Goal: Plantar Fasciitis exercises to improve the the deep calf strength & Plantar Fascia stability to support the medial arch
How often?: Aim towardsx3 sets of x15 repetitions. Twice a day. Every other day
Instructions: Ideally barefoot (or in trainers if more comfortable). on the edge of a step with 2 feet. Place a rolled up towel under the toes. Keeping the knees slightly bent. Slowly raise up and down at the ankle holding onto the wall or a rail for support. You should feel a good workout into the calf muscles. You can progress this onto 1 foot BUT ONLY if 2 feet is easy or you’ve built up over 3-6 weeks
Bridges On A Step
Goal: Plantar Fasciitis exercises to improve trunk, hip & Plantar Fascia stability along with deep calf strength
How often?: Aim towardsx3 sets of x15 repetitions if performing with 2 legs. Aim towards x3 sets of 8 repetitions if performing with 1 leg. Twice a day. Every other day
Instructions: Ideally barefoot (or in trainers if more comfortable).Lying on the floor with your toes on the edge of a step and arms across your chest. Try with 2 feet initially. Slowly lift your hips off the floor pushing through the toes aiming to maintain the arch of the foot. Then slowly back down. You can progress this onto 1 foot BUT ONLY if 2 feet is easy or you’ve built up over 3-6 weeks
Split Squat On A Step
Goal: Plantar Fasciitis exercises to improve trunk, hip & Plantar Fascia stability along with thigh strength
How often?: Aim for x3 sets of x15 reps on each leg. Twice a day. Every other day
Instructions: Ideally barefoot (or in trainers if more comfortable). Standing in a split squat stance with the toes of the front foot on the edge of a step, and the toes of the other foot behind with the knee bent to the floor. Using a wall for support. Slowly raise the back knee up and down aiming to maintain the arch of the front foot
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