Pain in the Foot is not fun. Especially when you are trying hard to stay fit during the COVID-19 outbreak. No access to gyms has forced people to be creative and move their exercise routines outdoors. It may even mean taking up new exercise. That may mean new aches and pains, because our body is not used to the form of exercise.
Here are some tips to help keep our body well rounded when taking up running.
First of all. My philosophy has always been that the foot is part of the kinetic chain of the entire leg. Forces acting on the foot can contribute or exacerbate foot pain.
A lot of the time we do not spend enough time focusing on staying strong in a well rounded approach. Weakness is why we get hurt. So lets try our best to avoid weaknesses.
Please note this is me sharing what I do. I have worked together with a physio to ensure I have my proper form so I do not hurt myself.
Exercises to do to help up stay injury free!
Strength training we should aim to do 2-3 times per week.
Lunges or Split Squats
The main point here is that how you position your body can impact where you feel the strengthening. Your back should be straight . Hinging at the hip and sinking backwards when you lower can target the glutes more. While hinging slightly forward can target the quads more. I specifically like to target the glutes. Running and walking already makes you quite quad dominant.
Lunges are also a great warm up to do prior to runs. Simple walking lunges helps to wake those muscles up!
This is where there is a step or a stool in front of you. You place one foot on the step and then press up . You straighten the leg and drive the other leg up. You pause at the top for a couple of seconds and then slowly go back to the ground.
This is a big one for runners. The calf muscles work hard during runs. Over working can lead to wear and tear and actually weakness. The calf helps to absorb the impact of running as well as drive you forward in toe off phase of gait. Keeping this area strong can help reduce foot and ankle related injuries
To do this exercises you can do on two feet or one. You simply go up on the balls of your feet while attempting to not roll your ankle in or outwards. You want to think of maintaining the even weight distribution on all balls of the feet.
If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis, I can help guide you to build up to this exercise. As doing this when injured can hurt the fascia band more, depending on the severity of the injury.
This can be done lying down or standing up . Lying down is a good place to stat initially. To do Stand with band around your shins and then raise the leg outwards. Keep the foot in line with your hip, try to not have it migrate in front of you your behind you . Keep your toes pointed forwards.
Place a band around your shins and keep both feet facing forwards. Lift one leg back behind you and then return to normal. This works the hamstrings and the glutes.
This helps with running and form. You place a loop band around both feet and drive the bent knee up towards your chest.
I am a big fan of planks for the core. This is done on the floor with your elbows bent. You can squeeze your glutes and ensure your back does not sag . To make this more difficult you can lift one leg up and hold. This is a hip extension variation. The other exercise you can do is side planks. This helps to work the hip abductors. A more difficult variation is to extend your arm and then raise one leg up in the air and hold.
Do not forget to also stretch!