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Beauty is pain….BUT you don’t have to stay in pain! 
As pole dancers we love our stilettos and we put our legs and feet to the test by rocking heels while doing serious athletic feats. After a long day of workin’ the pole in 7 inchers we are left with super tight calves, sore arches, and squashed toes….OWWW! Here are 8 stretches and tools I use to recover from stilettos caused pain:
*Please note I am not a trained pole instructor, these stretches are ones I have learned from yoga and pole dance classes that I have loved and felt dramatically better from practicing. Please do not force any position or stretch and check with a fitness professional if you are concerned about any of these moves.*
1. Step Stretch
This has to be one of my favorite stretches and one that I often do multiple times throughout the day. This move stretches out your calf and Achilles when you slowly drop you heels below the step. It also builds your ankle strength as lift onto your toes, just make sure that you lift equally with both feet and don’t let your ankles roll outward. Hold onto the stair railing to control the stretch.
2. Wall Stretch
Place your hands shoulder width apart on the wall and walk your feet back till your torso is parallel with the floor while keeping your hips inline with your feet. Gently press your chest towards the floor. You will feel a great stretch all the way up the back of your legs, as well as, your upper back and shoulders. Hold for up to 30 seconds.
3. Downward Dog Variation
The downward dog pose is part of most polers warm-up so why not add this easy variation to deal with high heel issues? Simply peddle your legs, alternating between sides and pressing your heels towards the floor.  When you lift your foot press into your toes for an additional stretch. For added intensity hold each sides’ stretch for 10 – 15 seconds.
4. Foam Block/Wall Stretch
This stretch is great for tight calves and Achilles tendons. Place the ball your foot either against the wall or the foam block. Press forward into the block/wall gently while keeping your leg straight. Beginners or those with extremely tight calves should start with a foam block before moving to the wall.
 5. Quad Stretch
Oh man this one can be painful, but SOOO GOOD! From a kneeling position, tuck your toes under and lean back supporting yourself with your hands. Keep your knees on the floor. You should feel a great stretch in your quads, toes, and the arch of your feet.
6. Band/Towel Stretch
Sit with one leg straight out in front and the other bent. Loop an exercise band or towel around the ball of your flexed foot. Pull the band/towel towards you while keeping your leg on the floor and without forcing your knee down. Hold for 10 – 20 seconds before switching sides. 
7. Toe Spreaders
Yes, toe spreaders are meant to separate your toes while you get a pedicure, but after your toes have been squashed in a pair of stilettos for hours on end, these toe spreaders are pure bliss! Just pop them on while you are unwinding in front of the TV and ….. AHHHHHHHHH!
I am a huge fan of foam rollers, they are the best mix of pleasure and pain! So why not use a mini one on your feet? While standing roll the ball between your foot and the ground, applying as much pressure as feels comfortable. Hold onto a chair for support and control.
Whats your favorite way to heal from stiletto pain?

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