Spikey balls are a great tool to perform self-massage (or myofascial release) in order to release muscle tension, improve blood flow, decreasing pain, increase sensation and aid in injury prevention, recovery and rehabilitation.
Undertaking a spikey ball foot release, or plantar fascia release, is just one of many different ways that you can use your spikey ball. This is an exercise which helps to release the plantar facia and intrinsic muscles of the foot and once completed, helps to release the Achilles tendon, calves and hamstrings making the leg feel ‘’lighter’’.
- In a standing position, start by placing around 70% or your body weight through the ball and relax your foot. Roll the ball through the middle of the foot, into the toes and down into the heel, on the inside and outside of the foot. Perform ball roll for 30 – 45s each foot
- Continue by holding the ball where your heel ends and arch begins, increasing the pressure placed on the ball to 90% body weight. Ensure foot is relaxed.For advanced release
Advanced release: Start in the same position as exercise 2 and perform a forward, sideways and backwards kick of your opposite leg, maintaining the balance on your load leg. Repeat 10 each way. This mimics the weight baring pattern of walking by increasing and decreasing the load placed on your working foot.
You will find this exercise at the start of my mat class or even in my clinical Pilates programs if lower limb/ pelvic work in involved. This is a great exercise to undertake before a run/ walk, for ankle/knee or hip injuries, after a long day on your feet, if you suffer plantar fasciitis or shin splints, or if you are a regular high heels wearer.
Even if you don’t fit into any of these categories, a spikey ball foot release is a great way to increase circulation, sensation and mobility through the foot.