Some of the best foot-strengthening, pain-preventing plantar exercises focus on your glutes, not your feet. Working out your gluteus to prevent plantar fasciitis symptoms is a great way to manage two problem areas with one set of exercises.
Plantar fasciitis symptoms
Plantar fasciitis pain occurs when the ligaments of your heels become strained or inflamed. You may develop bone spurs, find walking extremely painful and even have trouble standing when these symptoms occur. Cushioning orthotic supports, massage, stretching exercises and other treatments help to relieve and prevent plantar pain, but the treatment doesn’t stop there. Strong glute muscles go a long way toward preventing plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Some plantar exercises treat the problem that causes plantar pain by stretching out and strengthening the ligaments in your calves. But it’s the gluteus muscles that help stabilize your hips, knees and ankles. Strength in these muscles helps to prevent plantar fasciitis symptoms, as well as shin splints and knee pain. Practice plantar-supporting exercises to strengthen your lower body:
- Balance yourself on your left leg and press your right hip and shoulder into a wall for support. Bend your arm and your knee, and with them press against the wall. As you press, rotate your left leg outward in your hip socket. Make sure your foot is planted firmly against the floor as you do this. Hold the position for approximately 1 minute, then switch to the opposite side to work both glutes.
- Lie down on your back and bend your knees to create a 90-degree angle to the floor. Press your hips up toward the ceiling while squeezing your glutes together. Hold the position for approximately 1 minute, or as long as you can, and relax back down.
- Lie on your left side, bringing your knees up to a 90-degree angle with your body. Slowly, turn your right leg outward by spreading your knees while keeping feet together. Do not twist or bend your torso while performing this exercise. Repeat the exercise 10 to 15 times before turning to your right side and repeating.
- Place a stool in front of you and step up with one foot, lifting yourself up slowly through the heel. Repeat on the opposite leg. Do 10 reps on each side to work your glutes and strengthen your heel tendons. Steps ups help shape and strengthen your glutes to prevent plantar fasciitis symptoms.
Plantar exercises that stretch and strengthen calves are still very effective in managing plantar fasciitis symptoms; there is no reason you cannot complete these exercises in addition to your glute workout.