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Can You Lift Weights With Plantar Fasciitis?

Can You Lift Weights With Plantar Fasciitis? If you have plantar fasciitis, read this article to see which exercises are beneficial.

By Hosea Machio
Joel Taylor
Edited by Joel Taylor

Updated February 17, 2023.

Hardly anything ruins working out quite like an injury. Weightlifting or strength training has amazing cardiovascular and muscle-building benefits, but it may be particularly hard on your feet’s musculature, joints, tendons, ligaments, and fascia.

There are, however, a range of workouts of all types that can be continued while avoiding the ones that cause a plantar fasciitis flare-up. If you enjoy strength training but are unsure if you should be concerned about heel pain from strength training, keep reading.

Weight-Lifting Exercises That Are Safe for Plantar Fasciitis

In general, if you have plantar fasciitis, it might be a sensible move to rest your feet for a bit for pure symptom relief.

However, according to a 2015 study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science, high-load strength training improves results in plantar fasciitis patients. Those who did high-load strength training with corrective shoe inserts recovered faster than the other 48 individuals in the study.

Stick to low-impact weight-lifting exercises to help you gain strength without putting too much strain on your feet. Fortunately, you can still participate in a variety of exercises:

Upper body

  • Wide Grip Seated Row
  • Seated Machine Shoulder Press
  • Triceps Kickbacks and Overhead Extensions
  • Assisted Pull-Ups and Dips
  • Bench press

Lower body

  • Weighted back extension
  • Resisted leg curl
  • Resisted leg extension

Most gyms feature a machine for resistance workouts like leg curls, leg extensions, and band swings that engage your leg muscles without injuring the fascia.

» Read more about the best exercises for plantar fasciitis

Weight-Lifting Exercises to Avoid With Plantar Fasciitis

Kettle bell swing

Yes, it is one of the most effective strengthening exercises available. The catch is that it necessitates flawless execution.

Many people believe that this movement is solely powered by the arms, but it is actually powered by the lower body, notably the posterior chain, which includes the glutes and hamstrings. Before you begin swinging the weight, you must first understand how to move it correctly to avoid transferring pressure to plantar fascia leading to injury.

High-impact exercises

Any high-impact activity, overhead lifts or lifting while standing for lengthy periods of time, can increase your risks of plantar fasciitis flare-up. Avoid high load exercises such as squats, deadlifts, and powerlifting. High impact exercises induce repeated acute minuscule tears of the fascia that lead to chronic plantar fasciitis.

When Should All Exercise Be Avoided With Plantar Fasciitis?

In any event, remember this piece of medical advice: The human body responds well to usage, but poorly to disuse. However, stop weightlifting if you feel pain at any point in your workout. In this situation, you may induce tissue damage, establish atypical movement patterns, increase your risk of severe injury, prolong healing, or at the very least, amplify inflammatory processes.

In mild cases, to avoid continued fascia damage, acclimatize slowly and allow yourself a couple days of recuperation between workouts in moderate circumstances. When strength training, use orthotics help your arch absorb extra impact and weight. Afterward, ice your heel and perform adequate stretches. The best way of stretching with plantar fasciitis is slow eccentric stretching that eases pain by lengthening the fascia.