What Cardio Exercises Can I Do with Plantar Fasciitis?

Obesity can cause or worsen or flare up plantar fasciitis. Fortunately, you can do a variety of cardio exercises to improve your condition and reduce extra pounds, such as elliptical, rowing, swimming, handy cycle, and stationary cycle.

Losing weight is already a challenge for anyone; however, if you suffer from plantar fasciitis while on a weight loss journey, the challenge is doubled.

So, you may ask, “what cardio exercises can I do with plantar fasciitis?”

In this article, we will tell you how each cardio exercise can help with plantar fasciitis. Also, you will learn other exercises that can aid your condition.

Do you want to know about Proper Placement of TENS Pads for Plantar Fasciitis, read out this guide.

What are the plantar fasciitis-friendly cardio exercises?

When it comes to weight loss, cardio exercises are usually the go-to option. They help boost cardiovascular health while burning calories.

However, some people with plantar fasciitis hesitate to do cardio exercises, thinking their heel and feet may hurt further. The truth is, several cardio exercises are plantar fasciitis-friendly, including:

1. Elliptical 

Instead of running on a treadmill, you can do the elliptical. This treadmill alternative is a much lower-impact exercise.

However, if your feet are too sensitive, you may still feel pain while doing elliptical. If this occurs, you can try other cardio exercises or simply rest your feet for a day.

2. Rowing 

If you are dealing with plantar fasciitis, any rowing type can be an excellent exercise for you. In most cases, gyms have rowing machines.

This cardio exercise involves spinning a flywheel by pulling on a handle. Kayaking or actual rowing in the boat is also great for your condition as it is easy on the feet. 

3. Swimming 

Even if you have plantar fasciitis, you can still enjoy swimming. This low-impact exercise does not cause so much stress on your feet.

You can go swimming at your local recreational centers or join a water aerobics class. Do not forget to wear supporting water footwear. It is also advisable to spend less time barefoot when outside the pool.

4. Hand Cycle 

You can find several gyms that feature a piece of equipment the same as a stationary cycle. However, it comes with hand pedals rather than foot pedals.

Hand cycling enables you to raise your heart rate and exercise your upper body muscles without having an impact on the feet.

5. Stationary Cycle 

The best thing about the stationary cycle is that it mimics the regular bicycle’s movements, and you can do it indoors.

Since this low-impact exercise does not require putting the full body weight on the feet, you will not feel any impact on the feet.

Are there strength exercises for upper body even if I have plantar fasciitis?

Yes. You can try several strength exercises designed for the upper body without a painful impact on your feet. Here are some of these exercises:

1. Bench Press

This strength exercise primarily focuses on the arms and chest. You can perform this exercise by lying on your back, making it comfortable and safe when you have heel pain.

2. Dips 

Dips are designed to strengthen the back, shoulders, chest, and triceps. You can stay worry-free while doing dips because there is no impact on your heel and feet.

3. Push-Ups 

You can do push-ups from the comfort of your home. This exercise works your core, chest, and arms.

However, if you find regular push-ups too hard or bearing weight on the toes causes discomfort, you can alternatively perform this exercise from your knees.

4. Pull-Ups 

If you wish to work on your arms and upper back, pull-ups are suitable for you. If you do not want to go to the gym, you can use the monkey bars at your local park instead.

What are the activities that can trigger plantar fasciitis? (What Cardio Exercises Can I Do with Plantar Fasciitis)

While there are some exercises that you should perform when you have plantar fasciitis while staying active and losing weight at the same time, here are activities you should avoid:

1. Running

Running for long distances repeatedly impacts your feet’s bottoms, causing chronic pain. However, if you really want to run, wear supportive running shoes with support and cushioning to prevent chronic pain.

If you do not know which shoes you should buy, check out our top picks for the best running shoes for plantar fasciitis

2. Plyometrics 

With plyometrics, you have to perform cardiovascular exercises alongside strength building. These activities reinforce the legs’ fast-twitch muscles.

The activities include jumping, which can worsen plantar fasciitis whenever you land hard on your feet. Long jumps, jump squats, and box jumps are exercises you should avoid because they only aggravate the pain caused by plantar fasciitis.

What are the different stretches for plantar fasciitis?

Stretching is more than just a form of exercise; it also helps reduce pain associated with plantar fasciitis. You can also check out our post about plantar fasciitis stretches for a better understanding.

Here are some stretches you can do at home for pain relief:

1. Ankle Circles 

When doing ankle circles, you have to stand or sit with one foot elevated, ensuring there are a few inches from the ground. Next, rotate the ankle around in circles in a slow manner several times. Then reverse directions.

2. Downward Facing Dog 

This yoga pose helps stretch your entire posterior chain and feet.

3. Wall Stretch 

This stretch is another helpful activity to relieve pain due to plantar fasciitis.

4. Plantar Stretch 

If you have plantar fasciitis, doing plantar stretch is an excellent way to relieve pain. You can perform it in the morning and evening for the best results.

Other exercises that are gentle on your feet 

Try the following plantar fasciitis-friendly exercises:

  • Yoga. This relaxing exercise strengthens and lengthens muscles.
  • Supermans. This exercise focuses on strengthening the back.
  • Pilates. This exercise mainly involves bodyweight strengthening without involving the feet.


There you have it! The above plantar fasciitis-friendly exercises will help keep you fit and healthy without worrying about inflammation and pain. Do not forget to avoid some activities that aggravate the heel pain, letting you stay productive throughout the day. Stay active with no pain!

Leave a Comment