USA Water Ski & Wake Sports

Fitness - Training Your Feet

Note: This article first appeared in the Spring 2020 issue of The Water Skier magazine, the official publication of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports. If you are not a member of USA Water Ski & Wake Sports and you are interested in receiving the quarterly magazine, join now.

 

Written by Megan Lambert

Photography by Scott N. Atkinson

 

 

Instruction - Training Your FeetThe No. 1 reason skiers should take care of their feet is to prevent injury. Not only can an injury reduce your training time in the gym, but it can also limit valuable time on the water (a skier’s worst nightmare!).

Although common feet and ankle injuries like plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendinitis, heel spurs, and bunions cannot be completely prevented, taking care of your feet can greatly reduce the risk of them occurring. 

Common Problems

 

A few common mobility concerns are listed below, so, I encourage you to take off your socks and shoes and study your feet for a moment. If you answer “yes” to any of the following questions, then your feet may need some TLC. Please note, this is not an exhaustive biomechanics list, just a few questions to get you thinking.

 

* Are your toes smooshed together instead of spread apart?
* Do the arches of your feet collapse when you walk?
* Do your ankles “pop” when you walk and feel immobile?
* Do your Achilles tendons feel stiff?

If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then you may need to strengthen your lower leg and foot muscles.

Instruction - Training Your FeetCorrective Exercises

 

That being said, here are a few exercises to strengthen your feet and ankles:

 

* Walk barefoot
* Stand and roll a tennis ball back and forth from your toes to your heel
* Stretch your calf muscles
* Pick up marbles with your toes
* Draw the alphabet in the air with your foot and ankle

 

If you would like to learn more about foot mobility, injury prevention and corrective exercises, check out Dr. Kelly Starrett’s book, “Becoming a Supple Leopard.” 

Megan Lambert, CSCS, can be found working as an exercise specialist at Weaver Popcorn, Co. in Whitestown, Ind., and competing in water ski tournaments throughout the Midwest this summer.