Heel Whip Hurts—But Here’s What You Can Do About It

Posted by Dennis Mundt on

The right side of my left sneaker had been covered in red on the opposite foot.

I used to have what's commonly called a heel whip.

What is a Whip Heel?

A heel whip is when either heel "Whips" laterally inward or outward, causing the foot to hit the inner heel opposite to it.

While in most runners a slight heel whip is normal, an excessive one is an indication that there is a faulty pattern of movement that can result in injury, says Corinne Croce, D.P.T. and co-founder of Body Evolved in New York City.

If you don't have the ability to get into a doctor right away, or if you're in a bit of a time crunch with a race pending, there's some reconciliation that you can do at home on your own.

"Asymmetries in stability, mobility and strength are common reasons to cause the heel whip to occur and to increase the risk of injury." She adds that a new shoe choice that may not necessarily be the right fit can also bring the heel whip to the surface.

How to Fix Heel Whip"It's important to incorporate mobility, stability and strength training into your running routine, regardless of personal assessment, to ensure you don't undertake one or more of these important physical components," she says.

Once you check in with a physical therapist, then you can make positive progress with an assortment of exercises and massage to alleviate the whip.

If mobility is the problem: Mobility deficits are common to heel whips, especially from the hips and ankles, Croce says.

Take a big step forward with your right foot, and bend your right knee to drop into a lung, keep your left leg straight behind you with your toes on the ground, so you feel a stretch at your left thigh and hip front.

Place your left hand on the floor and twist your upper body to the right as you reach the ceiling with your right arm.

If stability is the problem: Croce suggests that patients whipping their heel do upper body exercises in a half-kneeling position.

The move above is done in a standing position, but you should start in a half-kneeling position, with the right foot in front, both knees bent to 90°.

Add step-ups for glute strengthening in single-legs, a very common area of weakness which may lead to an ankle whip.

Take 15 steps to the right, then 15 steps to the left, starting with the feet shoulder-width apart and the knees slightly bent off.

Read the original article "Heel Whip Hurts - But here's what you can do" at https://www.runnersworld.com/health-injuries/a29639106/heel-whip-exercises/

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