(This post is from YEARS ago and it is one of the most clicked on posts on my website. It is incredibly effective. I know I don’t have photos of the series — wrote it before I could use photos! Will work on adding them soon.)
Here is a series I learned at the SYTAR conference this past weekend from John Childers in LA for strengthening the feet. All of the issues in the title of this post come from weak feet (except, possibly the fasciitis). But these exercises bring blood to the area to activate healing. Remember, even if the fascia is torn, you are contracting the muscles not the fascia so a contraction of the muscle will not harm the fascia. Strengthening can help alleviate the discomfort that comes from weakness.
- Do Setu Bandha Sarvangasana (Bridge Pose) with your hips up on a block. (I am not showing you the variation with the block.) The block needn’t be very high, you just need your hips up.
- Take one leg in the air (you can bend it) and hold a marble in your toes. (You can use a real marble or pretend the marble is there.)
- Holding the marble firmly in your toes (so they are pointing), point your foot, hold for a couple of breaths, then flex your foot. Repeat a few times. (At the risk of sounding ominous, do it as much as you can stand.) You may already be cramping. If so, release the marble, relax the cramp, and then return to the exercise. Do a smaller contraction so the cramp doesn’t return.
- Next, again holding the marble in your toes, point across the ankle and slowly lower your leg. Bend your knee slightly and point hard enough so that your toes are the first part of your foot to touch the floor. (Yep, cramping is common here!) You want to feel the contraction all the way to the middle of your calf. Powerful work!