Have you ever wondered what that small blue rocker looking thing is off in the corner of the gym where you work out is? It is called a ProStretch and is used to stretch your feet and lower leg. According to the people at http://www.prostretch.com, the ProStretch Plus is “proven to provide a deep, effective stretch that increases flexibility along the entire inter-connective chain, soothing tight calves, strengthening weak Achilles tendons and foot muscles” and it “delivers the flexibility needed for lasting relief”. Sometimes they come in single foot use (such as the one pictured above) or they also make them where you can put both feet on them at the same time. These little devices help with the prevention of plantar fasciitis, shin splints, calf pain, runner’s knee, Achilles Tendonitis, and IT band syndrome.
I personally use mine to keep my plantar fasciitis at bay, and strongly recommend my clients who run and play tennis regularly use it to keep their lower leg and feet healthy. As with any stretch, make sure you hold the stretch for 30 seconds to 1 minute to ensure you get a proper stretch. To deepen the stretch, I sometimes use my other foot to pull back on the front part of the ProStretch (also pictured above). The ProStretch can be purchased at Amazon.com or powersystems.com or can be found in some sporting good stores. I know running stores definitely carry them. They retail for between $25-$30 for a single foot ProStretch or around $60 for a double.
If you have foot pain or are particularly abusive to your feet, I highly recommend you add a ProStretch to your arsenal of essential gym equipment.