Do you every feel sore ankles in the morning? Or pain during a little sprint?
How often do you look at your ankles and focus on rotating the joint?
The very foundation of many movements requires our feet for both Mobility and Stability. It’s easy to shrug off early morning soreness to past injuries or ‘getting older’ aches. There are many reasons why it may happen but fortunately there are a handful of instinctual movements that you can do on a slanted surface or with the Posturenomic Board to prove otherwise.
Ankle Mobility exercises have been popular throughout all fitness disciplines whether you’re an elite athlete or desk jockey. It’s important to understand that the ankle is made up of 3 joints in descending order:
- Ankle Joint Proper (Talocrural Joint)
- Distal Tibiofibular Joint
- Subtalar Joint
The lowermost joint provides shock absorption and is the base of ankle stability as it controls inversion and eversion (inward + outward). The DT joint helps in gliding and helps in the transfer of joint compression to a ‘spring’ action as well as joint stability. Finally, the most known joint is the ankle hinge which plantar and dorsi flexes the foot.
They work synergistically while walking, running, hiking, cycling and so on. It’s important to instinctually move the ankles in a way to increase neuromuscular connection bringing personalized awareness in joint imbalances.
Usually soreness can be overcome by increasing ankle mobility and nutrition.
Tip 1: Active Stability
Before any activity we get ready by placing our legs shoulder width apart anticipating the movement. How many of us actually pump our ankles then imagining like your legs are in cement?
Active Ankle Stability is important for changing direction or spontaneously running which will help distribute the bodies generation of force while reducing injuries from unstable movements. If you’re about to squat or do an Olympic press you’ll agree that if the ankle isn’t stable you won’t move as much weight or do as many for that matter.
You’ll feel a stretch around the back half of your ankles and your calf. Ake sure to stand tall and breath from your diaphragm.
- Step onto the Posturenomic Board with your knees slightly bent. If you feel like you can’t balance yourself bring your body forward
- Slowly straighten your legs and torso. Make sure your chest is open and your head is aligned with your back in a neutral position
- Do this for 25-30 breaths. Make sure to drink plenty of water
Tip 2: Static Stability
The gastrocnemius which is the big muscle that you see as your calf crosses the ankle and knee. Understanding the body is a kinetic chain it’s important to stretch the whole back side of your leg (calf and hamstring) to decompress the joints it crosses. This will allow for more blood flow and increases joint fluid for more cushion. You should feel a stretch in your calf hamstring and depending on your fitness your gluteal muscles.
- Step with one foot on the Posturenomic board while the support leg is neutral (don’t let the toes point outwards
- Bend forward keeping the hips neutral. Stop just before there’s pain
- Do this for 25-30 breaths
Tip 3: Ball Stability
If you’re ready or not when you start to move you’ll put all that weight and power into the balls of your toes. You’ll want to be able to transfer all the force effectively without any side to side movements that can cause ankle sprains. You’ll feel a deep stretch on the heel (Achilles Tendon).
- Place just over half the foot on the board while the feel is placed firmly on the ground.
- Put the majority of the force on the balls of your feel while keeping your heel on the ground
- Do this for 25-30 breaths
Remember Health is not about reaction it’s about action. So, take control.