ankle mobility

How to Fix Your Pinchy Ankle

Technical terms for a minute: 

osteokinematic motion at the ankle = flexion / extension

arthrokinematic motion at the ankle = glide/slide In other words, all joints go through osteo and arthrokinematic motions.

With dorsiflexion, there is also a glide/slide, or the distal end of the tibia would smash into the top of the talus Most joint mobilizations take these glides/slides move with these motions, but not always 😉

Here is 1 of 2 ways to improve your ankle dorsiflexion and stop the ankle pinch. I've seen this first mobilization done differently (with the band pulling from behind).

This really doesn't make any sense to me because the talus is fixed while the tibia and fibula need to move forward🤔.

Therefor the band pulls the tib-fib joint forward on the fixed talus. 

Here’s the next fix to help improve your ankle dorsiflexion. During dorsiflexion, the distal fibula (the outside of your ankle) needs to move out of the way because the anterior talus is larger than the posterior Is this what you need?

Hard to say, but you can do a quick test. Put your bare-foot up to a wall.

Keeping your heel on the ground, bring your knee to the wall. If you can’t reach the wall - 🙈. You should be able to though. Continue to nudge your foot back until you can no longer get your knee to the wall.

Try this mobilization, and assess again.

Stiff Ankles = PROBLEMS (Ankle Motor Control)

 

Movement starts from the 👟 up!  We’ve posted a few videos on how to improve your ankle ROM over the past few weeks.  This final video in the series shows you how to own that new range of motion.  Without teaching your body how to effectively use the new range, it will continue to fall into the same restricted movement patterns, and all of that stretching will go to 💩!

Eccentric strength through ankle dorsiflexion ROM is essential.  In fact, EMG studies show that the gastrocs soleus complex (our calves) are most active in the gait cycle when slowing down our tibias as they move over our feet in the stance phase.    Translation- our calf muscles need to be the strongest when controlling and slowing down our bodies during walking (during ankle dorsiflexion), and not actuallywhen we would think they are pushing us forward (ankle plantar flexion)🤔  We’ll save that though for another post though.

Stiff Ankles = PROBLEMS (2/3)

 
Ankle joint capusle mobilizations

If you are lacking ankle range of motion, specifically dorsiflexion, you need to look at soft tissue mobility as well as joint capsule mobility.  A previous video we posted showed you how a few ways to address soft tissue restrictions.  Here's some techniques to get at the joint.  The last video of this series will go over turning your new range of motion gains into functional, usable gains that stick.    

Stiff Ankles = PROBLEMS (1/3)

 
How to increase ankle mobility in stiff ankles with soft tissue mobilization and active tri-planar stretching.

If your lacking ankle dorsiflexion (shin moving over your foot), your body will compensate.  Sometimes this manifests as flat feet, or externally rotating at your femur (duck walking).  This limitation also wreaks havoc on squats = less #gainz 😉

This video shows a soft tissue mobilization technique using the handle of the @mostfitworkouts #corehammer followed by an active tri-planar stretch.  If you don't have a core hammer, use your foam roller, pvc pipe, oly bar, or even a beer bottle. 

While the gastrocs/soleus complex primarily functions in the saggital plane (front to back), there are fibers that also work in the frontal and transverse plane.  Do this mobilization and stretch complex before your workout.

Note - these techniques won’t help you if your problem is primarily joint stiffness.  Follow us for that post coming up later this week.