Anyone who has attended a class at Studio PP is no stranger to the foam roller or lacrosse ball. Both are great for releasing myofascial trigger points and are commonly used on the larger muscle groups such as the gluts and quads. What you may not know is that they also work wonders on the calves and feet. When you consider what your feet do for you in a day, let alone in a week or month, you will understand how important it is to release these tight spots.
Want to get the most out of your feet (and your orthotics if you wear them)? Here are my top 3 trigger point exercises to work into your daily routine:
Sit with both legs out in front of you. Slide a foam roller underneath your legs so that it rests where the belly of the calf muscle meets the Achilles tendon. Place your hands on either side of you and cross one leg over the other. Now lift your weight off the ground and start rolling up and down. For added intensity, you can try moving your leg in a horizontal direction back and forth. Once you have completed one side, swap legs and roll out the other side.
Sit on the edge of a chair and place a lacrosse or tennis ball underneath your forefoot (the toes and balls of the feet). Place as much pressure as you can tolerate on the ball and roll it from your forefoot to your heel. Repeat 5 times, then swap to the other foot. For added intensity, hold the ball under the arch of the foot and try to apply equal amounts of downward pressure through your forefoot and heel at the same time.
Remain in the same seated position as the previous exercise and again place the lacrosse or tennis ball underneath your forefoot. This time, roll the ball in a circular motion 5 times through this area. Then move the ball under the arch of the foot and repeat the circular motion 5 more times. Finally, move the ball to the heel and again roll it in a circular motion 5 times.
For maximum benefit, it is best to perform these exercises first thing in the morning and last thing at night. It also must be mentioned that during these exercises you may experience some discomfort, however if you are in extreme pain stop the activity.
Michelle from Integrated Podiatry Clinic practices at Studio PP on Monday evenings, and Tuesday and Thursday mornings. To make an appointment, discuss any foot or leg concerns or book in for her signature medical pedicure please get in touch.