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Can You Exercise with Plantar Fasciitis?

Plantar fasciitis is a painful foot condition that makes it difficult to walk, stand, and even sit in some cases. But if you’re not ready to give up your fitness routine, don’t worry – you don’t have to. You can still exercise with plantar fasciitis as long as you take the proper precautions.

We’ll show you how to workout with plantar fasciitis, specifically walking you through the proper footwear, warm-up, low-impact movements, and cool-down stretches that will keep you active and safe.

Can I Exercise with Plantar Fasciitis?

You can exercise with plantar fasciitis as long as you adhere to low-impact movements like cycling, yoga, and swimming. However, you should avoid high-impact activities that place strain on the plantar fascia; these include any sport that involves running, jumping, or lifting heavy weights.

Even though you may think you can “play through the pain,” working out with plantar fasciitis can cause further injuries in the rest of your foot, as well as your knees, hips, and back. But we know it’s impossible to convince you to rest, nor do we want you to – movement is medicine! Instead, we’ll show you how to safely exercise with plantar fasciitis, so you can get your workouts without making your plantar fasciitis worse.

How to Safely Exercise with Plantar Fasciitis

Choose the Right Footwear

It’s possible that improper footwear caused your plantar fasciitis; we can’t let it be the reason that the condition never heals. Choose supportive sneakers that are designed with ample cushioning and solid arch support to cradle your feet in comfort. If you have trouble finding shoes that conform to your foot shape, visit a podiatrist for custom orthotics or shoe inserts.

Ideally, the right pair of shoes will prevent you from feeling any pain while walking around or working out.

Warm-Up & Stretch Properly

Warming up increases the elasticity of your ligaments, including your plantar fascia. With increased blood flow & synovial fluid in the surrounding joints, the risk of injury is significantly reduced.

You don’t need any complex stretches to warm up your plantar fascia and surrounding muscles & joints. Follow this simple routine, it’ll take less than 5 minutes:

  • Toe Flex & Point
  • Plantar Fascia Massage with Tennis or Golf Ball
  • Standing Calf Stretch
  • Towel Stretch

Choose Low-Impact Exercises

Even though high-impact and most weight-bearing activities are out of the question, there are still effective forms of exercise you can perform with plantar fasciitis. Cycling, swimming, yoga, and elliptical training all burn calories & build muscle, allowing you to maintain healthy habits without worsening your injury.

A woman doing yoga near her taos slippers

Recover Thoroughly

After exercising, ease into your cool down with gentle stretches, focusing on releasing foot tension. Repeat the plantar fascia massage with a small ball or foam roller, which will relieve inflammation and reduce tension around the ligament. After you leave the gym, elevate your feet for a few minutes to help limit swelling, which can also be supplemented with compression wraps. If pain persists, try icing the bottom of your foot or using ibuprofen to further reduce inflammation & manage pain. Unfortunately, exercising with plantar fasciitis isn’t going to be pain-free, as you’re already experiencing discomfort at rest.

But with the right warmup, movements, and cool-down exercises, you’ll be well on your way to recovery while maintaining your fitness levels. As with any form of pain or exercise, you’ll have to listen to your body. Use pain as a feedback mechanism and stop if it becomes unbearable; know when to push yourself and when to rest.

How to Modify Workouts for Plantar Fasciitis


If your plantar fasciitis isn’t too severe and you’re wearing comfortable shoes, walking is a suitable form of exercise. If possible, avoid walking on uneven trails or overly hard surfaces. Instead, opt for grass or treadmills to minimize the impact on your foot.

Pay close attention to your stride and landing pattern; aim for a midfoot strike to avoid undue stress on your plantar fascia. For severe cases, you can slip on a pair of compression socks for added protection; they promote circulation and reduce swelling.

Yoga & Flexibility Training

Though yoga is a low-impact exercise, there are some positions that place excessive strain like downward facing dog & warrior I. You may have to modify some of these poses to reduce the strain on your plantar fascia.

As a general rule of thumb, avoid standing poses that put pressure on your heels and opt for seated or lying poses instead. Integrate props such as blocks, straps, and cushions to supplement the lack of support in your feet. Use a block under your hands in forward folds to alleviate foot tension, and place a cushion under your heels in squatting poses. These adjustments allow you to maintain alignment and reap the benefits of flexibility training, without exacerbating your foot pain.

Exercising with plantar fasciitis doesn't mean fully resting until your condition improves. Instead, it calls for a mindful approach to movement—one that limits impact and encourages active recovery. Before you step into the gym, make sure you wear a pair of shoes that offer full-foot support, especially throughout your arch. Warm-up deliberately, activating the muscles throughout your foot, ankle, and lower leg. And afterwards, make sure to stretch out your calves and feet to prevent tension and elongate the plantar fascia ligament.

Healing isn’t a linear path, but if you exercise with care, you’ll be back in action in no time.


What exercise should I avoid with plantar fasciitis?

You should avoid any exercises that are high-impact or place excessive strain on the plantar fascia ligament, like running, jumping, and powerlifting.

Is it OK to walk for exercise with plantar fasciitis?

It is OK to walk for exercise with plantar fasciitis as long as you wear supportive footwear and the pain is tolerable, without causing further injury.

Should you not workout with plantar fasciitis?

You can workout with plantar fasciitis; just swap out high-impact activities like running & jumping for low-impact exercises like cycling, yoga, swimming, and walking.

Should you rest or exercise with plantar fasciitis?

If your case of plantar fasciitis is so severe that you can’t walk, you should rest until you’re at least able to stand up without much pain. After that, you can continue exercise.