soft tissue work for foot and ankle

Running Series: Soft Tissue Mobility for Foot

Running Series, Part 3: Soft tissue mobility for foot and ankle

Runner’s often perform stretching and strengthening activities to improve joint and soft tissue mobility. While these are great activities, sometimes it is not enough to keep movement-impeding restrictions from forming.  That’s why taking a hands-on approach to self-tissue manipulation is additionally beneficial for runners. Listed below are some examples of soft tissue work you can do at home to target the tissues we have been concentrating on the past two weeks.

Arch Rolling with a Ball

There are several options for what type of ball you can use.  We have found that lacrosse balls seem to have a nice balance between hard and soft.  However, golf balls and tennis balls also do the trick.  Roll the ball along the bottom of the foot from the ball of the foot to the heel.  Perform it with the big toe flexed and extended to get into the tissues differently.  Do for 1-2 minutes each foot.

Stick work on the calf

Perform soft tissue work on the calf in a half kneeling position placing moderate tension on the target tissues.  Make sure to work the entire length of the calf in the center and the medial and lateral sides 1-2 minutes each legs.  The instrument being used in the photograph is called “the stick”.  If you do not have something like this you can use a rolling pin from the kitchen or a 1-inch dowel rod.

Working on soft tissue mobility through the foot and ankle can make a big difference in your running performance. For more information on running, run training, and how to run better,like us on Facebook , follow us on Twitter, or contact our office.

Running Series, Part 2: Calf Flexibility

Running Series, Part 2: Calf Flexibility

The Baudry Therapy Center/ BRIO Running Series continues this week focusing on the feet. Last week, we began working on strengthening the feet with some specific toe exercises. You may even be able to see some space developing between your toes when you attempt to separate them. This week, we are going to tackle another very important component – calf flexibility! Calf flexibility will help build efficient running, strong feet and strong calves. Listed below are two exercises to add to your routine.

The Challenge: Running Requires Calf Strength

Toe raises

1. Stand with the balls of your feet on the edge of a sturdy step. Let your heels come below the level of the step until you feel a slight stretch, then lift your heels up until you are on your tiptoes. Start with repetitions of 10-15 for 1-2 sets. The goal is to get strong enough to perform 2 sets of 30 repetitions.

 2. After performing your heel raises stretch out the calves by keeping one knee straight, and bending the other knee allowing the heel of the straight leg to go below the level of the step. Hold the stretch for 20 seconds, repeat 2-3 times each side.

eccentric calf 3. Look for our next running blog next Sunday to learn dynamic stretching techniques for the foot and ankle.

If you missed last week’s article, Running Series, Part 1: The Runner’s Foot, please take a minute to read.