Yoga for Runner’s – Stop Foot Abuse!

As runners we tend to abuse our feet.  We pound on them.  We get blisters.  We lose toenails.

Marathon Toenail Sign

Spectator Sign at 2012 Walt Disney World Marathon

And (if you’re anything like me) we rarely take the time to give them the TLC they deserve!

In an effort to put a stop to runner’s foot abuse I thought I would share a few quick things you can do to keep your feet healthy and happy!

Yoga for Your Feet

While training for my first marathon I battled some severe pain in the arches of my feet on my long runs – by mile 18 it felt like I was landing on broken glass with every step.  Thanks to my increased yoga practice and paying specific attention to stretching my feet regularly that pain was non-existant while training for marathon #2!

Here are a few ways you can stretch out your feet for happy (pain-free!) running:

PF Arch Stretch

If the above arch stretch is too much (you should feel a gentle stretch, NOT PAIN!) you can start off with a less intense version below:

Alternate Arch StretchAnd now that we’ve stretched out the bottom of our feet, let’s not forget about the top:

Top of the Foot Stretch

**Runner Tip**

I’m sure you’ve read to roll your feet on tennis or golf balls to alleviate arch pain, but here’s a great tip – FREEZE THE GOLF BALLS!

Frozen Golf BallsYup, roll and ice at the same time!  (I keep a few golf balls in a zip lock in the freezer so they’re ready whenever I need them!)

Hope some of these tips help!

Are there any specific muscles you’d like me to address?

Let me know and I’d be happy to share some yoga poses that may help!


31 thoughts on “Yoga for Runner’s – Stop Foot Abuse!

  1. Awesome tips thanks Danielle. I’d also love any stretches or poses you have for calves. Mine are very tight. At the moment I do self massage and foam roller as well as stretching. – Simone

  2. Great post. That arch stretch is awesome. My feet get so achy, and I’ve been plagued by toe cramps my whole life. I know that sounds silly, but when a toe cramp hits, man it hurts! And I often forget to stretch my feet, until they hurt, of course.

    • Thanks Karla! I’m usually the same way, I never thought to stretch/ roll my feet until after they were already hurting…this proactive way seems to work a lot better : )

  3. Freezing golf balls – what a great idea!! I definitely forget about stretching the top of my feet – thanks for the reminder.

  4. omg a couple of my other blog buddies were asking me about foot stretches a couple weeks ago! Rather than sitting on my feet (which I can’t do with my current knee issues), I do similar exercises sitting in a chair 🙂

  5. If you don’t have golf balls, another idea that helps with plantar fasciitis is to fill a plastic water/soft drink bottle with water and freeze it. I then roll my feet over it – works a treat! 🙂

  6. Never thought of stretching my feet! That’s probably why they hurt/cramp up on me lol. Yet another beneficial thing learned from your blog 🙂

  7. Love this! Thanks, Danielle. I will definitely be incorporating these into my stretching when I start training again. My arches are always a problem, too.

    • Yup, I’ve used tennis balls, they work great for areas that you can’t get with a foam roller or when the pressure of a golf ball is too much! They’re actually good for the piriformis area since that’s a little hard to get to with the foam roller sometimes.

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  9. Hi! I never thought about the frozen golf balls… Thanks! I had problems with my sole and heel ( plantar fasciitis) and before, I was just using frozen bottled LOL. Anyways, my fascitis was cured through stem cell treatment, which I had with my ortho surgeon. Dr Grossman, 2 years ago. I am still active in running and I play basketball once a week. Thank you for sharing those stretches.. I will print a copy and try them soon. Stay safe!

    • Hi Michael, thanks for stopping by and glad you like the golf ball suggestion! I had no idea they could help plantar fasciitis with stem cell treatment, how interesting!). My only suggestion is to make sure these stretches are ok for you with your doc or PT since you have a history of problems in that areas…good luck!

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