As a runner, your feet take quite a pounding...literally. Your feet are the first things that absorb the impact of the pavement and carry you through miles of running and hours spent standing up and walking around in your daily life. Yet, we rarely think about stretching out our feet and often tend to overlook the feet and focus on bigger muscle groups and body parts instead.
Over the last few months we've covered how to pick the perfect pair of running shoes, whether minimalist running shoes are a good choice for everyone, the importance of footstrike when it comes to running and more. Today I'm going to share with you my favorite technique for taking care of your feet with a mobility technique that you can do at home with a golf ball, tennis ball or lacrosse ball.
In the video below I walk you through how to roll out your feet using a ball. Rolling out your feet not only feels great (it's like giving yourself an amazing foot massage) but it also helps to stretch and release tension in the feet, prevents injuries such plantar fasciitis and it improves hamstring flexibility! Yes, you read that right. Rolling your feet can help to loosen connective tissue that starts in your feet and runs throughout your entire body. I walk you through a simple flexibility test you can perform pre- and post-rolling to see for yourself the impact that rolling the feet has on the hamstrings.
So grab a ball and get to rolling out those feet. You'll wonder why you haven't been doing it for years!
Jen DeCurtins is the content manager for Run Charlotte Run. She is a certified personal trainer, 200-hour registered yoga teacher, CrossFit coach and food and fitness blogger at Peanut Butter Runner.