It’s not surprising if your feet or sore, stiff, or tired… those babies are working hard! Here’s the thing: Your feet are, literally, your foundation, but most of us are pretty unaware of what’s going on down there since we’re in kicks most of the time. Those super-cushioned sneakers enable your feet to get pretty tight and sleepy, decreasing your ability to absorb shock when you run and increasing your injury risk. And when’s the last time you took the time to stretch your feet? Exactly. Keep in mind also that lower leg issues like calf and Achilles stiffness can force your feet to compensate—worker harder than they’re supposed to/in ways they’re not designed—and vice versa, so it’s super important to address your feet and lower legs in unison.
Use this quick yoga for runners routine post-run to stretch your feet and maintain fluidity through your lower legs, helping you to prevent injuries ranging from plantar fasciitis to Achilles tendonitis.
- From all fours, tuck your toes under and reach back and pull even your baby toes forward, even if they don’t want to stay there.
- Walk your hands forward, as if you’re pushing the floor away from you.
- Push your heels back.
- Walk your hands onto your thighs and sit upright, leaning your weight back slightly—if that’s too intense, leave your hands on the floor.
- Hold for a minute.
NOTE: Put a folded towel or blanket under your knees for padding if needed.
- Sit comfortably.
- Wedge all your fingers in between the toes on your opposite foot.
- Try to get your finger knuckles aligned with your toe knuckles so that your toes spread as wide as possible.
- Use your hand to move the ball of the foot in circles for about 30 seconds before repeating on your other side.
ALL FOURS CALF PUMP
- From all fours, straighten one leg long behind you, tucking your toes under on the floor.
- Keeping your hips level, rock your weight forward and back, as if you’re doing standing heel lifts on that leg.
- Continue for 10+ reps before repeating on your other side.
For more tips to keep your running body in balance including quick pre- and post-run routines, check out The Yoga for Runners Collection at video.jasyoga.com.
Photos by Claire Pepper.