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Don't Forget Your Stretches Before You Run!

As podiatrists, we treat all types of foot and ankle injuries, but we also want to prevent foot and ankle injuries, so we encourage our patients to always remember to do their stretching before running and exercising.

We practice what we preach! Although we all have different styles of exercising and running, we all do our stretches first. Feel free to ask us questions about your stretches and techniques. We're here to help you!

Here are some simple stretches that you can try:

Heel Cord Stretches #1 (Gastrocnemius Wall Stretch)

  1. Lean against a wall with one knee locked and the other bent. You will feel a pull in your calf muscles.
  2. Hold the stretch for 15 seconds & alternate the locking and bent knees.
  3. Relax for 15 seconds & do 10 REPS.
  4. Repeat this exercise 2-3 times a day.

Heel Cord Stretches #2 (Soleus Wall Stretch)

  1. Position is similar to Gastrocnemius stretch but with both legs bent and the buttocks dropped. Make sure you are facing straight and not turned out.
  2. Gently lean into the wall and keep your heels on the floor while bending both knees, putting a little more weight on the back leg.
  3. Continue until you feel stretching in your lower calf.
  4. Hold the stretch for 30 seconds.
  5. Repeat 2-3 times on each side.

Heel Cord Stretches #3 (Gastrocnemius Stair Stretch)

  1. Stand with the ball of the foot on the edge of a stair and heels off of the step.
  2. Rise as high as possible on the toes and then lower yourself slowly as far as you can without rolling the foot inward or outward until you feel a stretch in the calf.
  3. Hold this position for 1-2 seconds.
  4. Repeat 10-20 times.

Plantar Fascial Stretches

  1. Raise toes toward you while bending your ankle as high as you can.
  2. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
  3. Alternate doing this with the opposite foot 10 times.
  4. Perform this exercise 2- 3 times a day.

Hamstring Stretches

  1. Lie with your back flat to the floor with your eyes focused upward.
  2. Grasp the back of the thigh with both hands and, with the leg bent, pull the thigh until it is perpendicular to the floor.
  3. Slowly straighten the knee.
  4. Repeat the exercise with the other leg.