For athletes, especially runners, plantar fasciitis is a common injury. Many athletes do not stretch the tendons on the bottoms of their feet and this can easily cause strain when those tendons are used. With this easy ballet barre workout plan that only takes a few minutes, you can stretch those often neglected tendons and help prevent plantar fasciitis.
For the first exercise, we will start facing the barre with our feet in first position (feet in a V with heels together). Make sure that your knees are pointing in the same direction as your toes. If they are not, make your V smaller. Next, keep your back straight and bend your knees until just before you have to lift your heels up. Then, keeping this bend in your knee, rise up to the balls of your feet. You should feel a stretch up the bottom of your feet. If not, bend your knees a little more. To finish, straighten your knees before lowering your heels. Do this five times. You can also do the move in reverse, starting by rising up before bending your knees.
For this exercise, we will start in first position with our left hand on the barre. Your inside leg will be your stationary leg. Keeping you leg straight and your back lifted, slowly drag your outside leg out in front of you slowly pointing your toes as you go. When doing this correctly, you should feel every part of your foot work at some point. When it is pointed out in front of you so that just your pinky toe is on the floor, reverse to bring it back in. Repeat to the side and to the back. Do the full rounds 5 times before repeating on the other side.
For this exercise start with your left hand on the barre. In parallel with your feet hip distance apart, have your outside foot about a stride length in front of the other. On this foot only, keeping the other firmly on the ground, rise up to the ball of your foot. You will have to bend your front knee to make this work. Press your weight over this front foot, keeping the back one planted, to get a good stretch. When you are ready, push off your front foot to point it a couple of inches above the floor and then press over it again. This should be a quick flicking motion. Try this 10 times and then switch to the other side. The barre will be your best friend for balance in this exercise.
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