If you’re constantly suffering from achy feet, try this soothing DIY foot massage and ankle stretch.
Chances are you don’t get a foot rub every day or even every time you need one. Treating yourself to regular foot massages can be expensive and time consuming.
Well, the good news is that you can do this feel-good foot and ankle routine yourself – so you can use it as often as you like and whenever you need it!
The benefits of foot massage go way beyond just feeling better. Many people believe our feet are like maps to our health and that by applying pressure to the feet, we can energize the rest of our body. (1)
And since pressure on your feet will affect your ankles, we’ll be using simple stretches to relieve them of pain. Since your ankles enable the up-and-down movement of your feet, without proper ankle mobility, moves like lunges, squats, running, and other daily activities become harder to perform. Practicing ankle mobility stretches can keep your ankle joints functioning, improving your form in every other exercise or movement you do. (2)
These six simple stretches and massages will relieve pain, loosen stiffness, and revive your tired feet.
6 Exercises to Erase Foot and Ankle Pain
- 1 Yoga block
- 1 Tennis ball
Keep these two simple tools at your desk or at home. At the end of the day, do this stretch and massage routine to give your tired feet a little TLC.
Work on each of these stretches for about 30 seconds per side. You may repeat all 6 of them a second time around to get the maximum benefits.
Ankle Flexion Stretch on Block
- Place the block flat on the ground.
- Step your toes and the ball of your foot onto the block with your heel on the ground.
- Lean your weight forward to put the pressure primarily on the ball of your foot to stretch your ankle and the bottom of your foot.
Tip: For a light stretch, place your other foot right next to the block. To increase the stretch, step into a forward lunge in front of the block, or put both feet on the block and take a forward fold position (this will help you feel it in your calves and hamstrings as well).
Ankle Extension Stretch on Block
- Stand about 4 feet in front of the block.
- Place the top of your foot down on the block so the top of your toes are supported.
- Bend your knee to put pressure on that foot to feel the stretch along the front of your ankle.
Toe Flexion Stretch on Block
- Stand in front of the block.
- Step your toes on the top of the block.
- Lean your foot forward to stretch the bottom of your foot.
Toe & Ankle Extension on Block
- Press the top of your toes down into the block.
- Lean back to form a straight line with the front of your ankle.
Tip: This stretch may be too intense for some. Take it slow and ease into it. If this doesn’t feel good to you, do the Ankle Extension Stretch instead.
Plantar Fascia Roll-Out with Ball
- Place the ball on top of the block.
- Press down into the block as you roll up and down to massage the arch of your foot.
- Press harder on tender/sore spots and hold for 3 deep breaths.
Tip: For a more intense and deeper massage, use a golf ball.
Achilles Roll-Out with Ball
- Sit down on the ground and place the back of your ankle on top of the ball that’s on top of the block.
- Roll up and down to massage your Achilles muscles.
- Press down harder on any tender/sore spots and hold for 3 deep breaths.
Tip: To intensify this massage, you can stack your other ankle on top of this one and press down.
Now that you have learned the best do-it-yourself stretches and massages, you can give yourself a foot rub anytime you need to and even make it a part of your daily routine.
Keep this in mind next time your feet feel tired, and share this with a friend!
(Your Next Workout: 10 Yoga Poses to Soothe Sore Feet)