Needless to say, this winter in Onondaga County did not give us much reason to get up and out of the house (unless, of course, you are an avid fan of skiing, snowboarding, or sledding). Over the next few weeks, there will be some days that tempt us to go outside and resume some of our favorite outdoor activities. However, our muscles may not be as ready! Injuries frequently occur as a result of not stretching or warming up before exercise, so if you take a few minutes each day to get in the habit of performing some simple ankle and lower leg stretches, you can hit the ground running once the sun really starts to shine.
- Calf: Get on the ground on all fours as if you are about to do a pushup, with both heels elevated off the ground. At the same time, bend your right knee towards the ground and try to press your left heel towards the floor. You should feel a stretch in your left calf. Hold this for 30 seconds, and then repeat on the other side.
- Achilles tendon: This stretch is similar to the calf stretch, except that you will be standing with your hands shoulder-width against a wall. Extend your left leg away from the wall, keeping your heel firmly planted on the ground. Bend the knee slightly until you feel a stretch in the back of your lower leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch sides.
- Step-down: With the ball of your forefoot on the edge of a step, gently lower the heel below the level of the step until you feel a stretch in the back of the leg. Hold for 30 seconds, then switch feet.
- Ankle “spelling”: Seated in a chair with your feet off the ground, trace each letter of the alphabet in the air with your big toe, then do the same with the opposite foot.
As much as board-certified podiatrist Dr. Ryan L. D’Amico wants to help you with your sports injuries, ankle sprains, and shin splints, he wants you to avoid those ailments in the first place! At Syracuse Podiatry, you can expect expert curative care and preventative care. Contact us or call our Fayetteville office at (315) 446-3668 if you have any questions or would like to make an appointment!