Sunday, February 22, 2009

Foot/Ankle Mobility

It ALL starts from the ground - up. While the mountainous festivities involve the entire body, it is your foot/ankle complex that is absorbing all those terrain variations and causing the optimal chain reaction to occur at the rest of your body. The end result should leave us gasping for air and smiling at the end of the run.

In previous articles, we spoke about the importance of the foot/ankle complex ( It doesn't matter whether you opt for hard or soft boots, we ALL have to be able to flex our shins forward into the tongue of our boots. This motion is called dorsiflexion. When this happens, our calves are lengthened or put "on stretch." Limitations in dorsiflexion will limit how far the shin can move forward or flex. Now the body must begin to "look" for other options and this is when compensations take place. In the performance world, there are a number of things that will happen, for instance, the feet will turn out or someone will bend more at the hips or movement will just overall be restricted. On the slopes, there are also many other options that are less than desirable. WHILE I'M NOT QUALIFIED as a ski/snowboard instructor, my logic tells me that there are some VERY specific or common compensations that take place (possible "back-seat" skier, "hip-bender" skier/snowboarder).

To help begin to undo the negative effects of limited dorsiflexion, we will begin to mobilize the foot/ankle complex in a number of different planes. We will take common wall lean position and put a different twist to it. You may view it on the video below.

This technique may be used in a number of different ways, such as pre-workout, a pre-get on the slopes or a pre-anything. We usually perform 10 repetitions in all the directions illustrated.



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