Best Stretches For SUP Feet
By Tony Peters DC
1. Ball Smash
Use a ball that suits your comfort level, like a raquet ball, tennis ball, field hockey ball, or even a challenging golf ball. There are many options to choose from! The basic idea is to be able to use the ball to apply safe and direct pressure on sore, achey spots on the bottom (soles) of bare feet. Sit on a chair or stand with your foot on the ball of your choice with light to medium pressure. Hold in place on a tight sore spot for 7-10 seconds, inhale deeply, then release. Repeat 2-3 times.
If your feet ache while paddling, a good tip for quick relief is to sit on your board with your legs in front of you. Grab your paddle with two hands and place the shaft directly on the soles of one or both feet. Use your leverage to apply direct pressure (pull towards you) onto the bottom(s) of your feet to release tension. Get fancy and roll the paddle up and down while wiggling your toes for maximum release.
2. Sit Like Bolt
This is similar to a catcher’s stance but the idea is to rest on your two feet with your toes flexed and your heels up. Looks like sitting on your heels. Most of your weight should be shifted onto the area of the 4th toe and your toes 2 and 3 pointed straight forward. Keep a straight back, chest out, while your hands are placed on a chair or wall for balance, For even more challenging stance, rest your hands on your lap! This stretch is a great way to target the soles of your feet while also working the joint spaces of your toes, ankles, knees, and hips. Named after the greatest sprinter to date, Usain Bolt, who has been seen resting in this stance on many occasions. No pics of him on a SUP, but please send if you find one!
3. Prayer Position
Seen pics of children doing their nightly duties like praying before bed. Well, this position stretches the dorsum of your feet (Top of the foot) and extends the joint spaces of the ankles. A good stretch on the shins (tibialis anterior muscles) too. Basically, sit with your knees flexed and sit your glutes down onto your lower legs. Make sure your heels point outward away from your midline for added biomechanical support and training (More on that in another article). Hold for a minimum of 2 minutes. While your at it, why not pray for a fun safe time on the water too?!
You may find yourself in this position many times on your board either to paddle in a safe position, rest, wait or grab something on your board. Doing this stretch regularly helps maintain your ability to do this painlessly and with less cramping.
Dr Tony Peters, chiropractor, paddles and takes care of paddlers. This information is for educational purposes. Consult a healthcare provider prior to starting any new routines. He can be reached at www.GoSeeDoctorPeters.com