Anytime Foot Care Stretch for Your Toes, Ankles, Calves and Legs
Posted Feb 28 2011 11:12pm
Foot-on-Foot Calf Stretch
This easy foot care exercise will stretch your toes, foot, ankle, calf, and hamstring muscles. It’s excellent for stiff toes, tight ankles, and plantar fasciitis problems. Use this foot fitness exercise to increase flexibility, and reduce risk of injury to your feet, ankles, and lower legs. You can practice this foot fitness exercise anytime – great after a long walk or run, during your cool-down stretch after Pilates or other exercise programs, and can even be done sitting in your chair at work!
No excuses… Now you can quickly sneak in a couple of extra foot, calf, and hamstring stretches throughout your day to help keep you healthy and fit!
This exercise is excellent for getting a good stretch along the sole of the foot, so if you’re prone to stiff toes, tight ankles, or plantar fasciitis problems, this will be a nice stretch to add to your weekly workout routine.
It might depend on which of your muscles are the tightest as to where you’ll feel this effective foot stretch. But regardless of where you feel this one, you’ll be getting great benefits for increasing your leg, foot, and ankle flexibility to stay healthy & fit. Plus, you can sneak this one in anytime during the day for a quick leg stretch at your desk, on a lunch break, while you’re watching TV, or before and after your fitness workouts.
Take your shoes off and sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you. (You can also do this with your shoes on!)
Maintain good posture.
Flex your left ankle back and set your right heel on the ball of the left foot. MMMM… doesn’t that feel good! The weight of your heel and leg resting on that foot will bend your toes back farther and start to stretch the sole of the foot.
If you’ve got tight leg muscles, the bonus is you might be feeling a stretch all the way up in the hamstring along the back of the thigh!
Now, there are two things you can do to tweak this foot-care exercise for more stretch.
First, play with pointing and flexing the foot that’s on top. Inhale to point the ankle like a ballerina, exhale to reach through the heel and flex the foot. As you continue to point and flex the top foot, it gently deepens the flex and stretch on the bottom foot. Take 3-5 long deep breaths while pointing and flexing the top foot to maximize your stretch then switch legs.
The second way to increase your stretch during this Foot on Foot Calf and Hamstring Stretch is to hinge your body forward and see if you can grab a hold of the top flexed foot. Use a towel, Yoga strap, or Magic Circle if needed to reach the ball of the foot. Strive to keep your chest lifted and reaching over the tops of your toes. Lead from the back of the pelvis to hinge forward from the hips. Take 3-5 breaths here and on every exhale see if you can release the legs and lower back to tilt just a little farther forward. This will definitely shift more of the stretch up to your hamstring muscle along the back of the thigh.
I mentioned earlier that you can do this great stretch anytime during the day. If it’s not appropriate for you to sit on the floor at work, do this exercise seated in your office chair.
Sit on the front edge of your chair and extend your legs out straight in front of you being careful not to lock your knees. Put the heel of one foot on top of the other and away you go! Take lots of good relaxing deep breaths and if you want a little more stretch either point and flex the top foot, or hinge forward to reach the toes like we just did seated on the floor. Just be careful if you’re in a chair that’s got wheels!