-Improve Your Ankle Mobility!-
The squat. It’s a great exercise. It’s a basic movement pattern. It’s something almost everyone should be able to do…however, it’s something most people have difficulty doing the right way. There are numerous reasons as to why this is the case, one being limited ankle mobility. Many times, it seems we look at a client with faulty squatting mechanics and think “oh, their hips are tight” or “their core is weak.” These most definitely may be reasons, but we mustn’t forget to think about the ankles!
No, this post isn’t about squatting. It’s about ankle mobility. I just mentioned squatting because it is one of those exercises which tends to expose a lot of imbalances within the kinetic chain. Most people have imbalances period. We all do. Life leads to imbalances. Just means we gotta address them! 🙂
So…what can we do about improving one’s ankle mobility? Throw in some 3-D Stretching! Your muscles aren’t arranged in straight lines, so it makes sense that you should do more than stretch ’em in a straight line! Here i’m stretching the calf of the stationary leg. I have my foot aligned straight ahead, and i’m reaching and planting my moving leg centrally, medially (to the inside), and laterally (to the outside). This way, i’m incorporating all three planes of human movement to the stretch – sagittal, frontal, and transverse. I’m keeping my abs braced and my posture remains good as I move through the stretches. Also, i’m keeping my rear heel down.
In this second video, which i’m calling the “3-D Calf Transverse Swing,” i’m driving the front foot in the transverse plane, thus internally and externally rotating at the stance hip.
So, in thinking along the lines of the three planes of movement, it also makes sense to realize that you can take a “toed in” or “toed out” foot position with the stance leg. BAM! More stretches!