If you ever spent any amount of time playing a contact sport, you likely have rolled your ankle. It’s almost inevitable.
And if you have ever skied, snowboarded or done anything where learning involved falling, you have probably banged your wrist a few times during those crash “learning” opportunities.
Ankles are wrists are easy to injure: there are a lot of bones, ligaments and tendons PLUS they are intended to be mobile!
The problem is, we used to have strong wrists and ankles when physical labor was a part of our daily lives. Now we are losing grip strength and our feet are weaker than ever. So we aren’t helping ourselves at this point.
But again, like the elbows and shoulders, before we regain the stability, we have to overcome some of the scar tissue and immobility that has been created.
Often times, it’s flexion we are missing in both the wrists and the ankles
You see, most training done in a gym (push up, bench, snatch, overhead press) or out running trails and riding bikes requires significant amounts of extension without much work on flexion.
So let’s go through some flexion work you can do that is simple, easy and effective ☺
Simple one to do ANYWHERE! Lock the arm straight out and then FLEX the hand down towards the waistline, mobilizing the wrist. Assist with the opposite hand to increase the mobility work
Advanced: Be careful with this one as it is effective but can easily be pushed too far. Start on all fours, keep one wrist in extension or in a fist on the ground while flexing the other wrist into the floor with MINIMAL weight on it not to overstretch the area. Repeat on the other side.
Ankle Flexion (dorsiflexion)
Half Kneeling is great for ankle dorsiflexion if your ankles feel “stuck.” If someone has asked you to do a stretch for the ankles in the past and all you feel is bone running into itself rather than a stretch, try this one.
Start in half kneeling with a Kettlebell on the up leg to provide more force downward. Use the bell and bodyweight to drive the knee over your 2nd/3rd toe while keeping an arch in foot. Push the range while maintaining heel contact.
If you want to squat well, you should do this one from time to time, just to make sure the necessary ankle mobility is there for you.
**Key, do this in the shoes you intend on squatting in so it guarantees you have the mobility needed. **
Ideally, you should be able to do this well without shoes on, but one step at a time!
Start in the bottom of a squat, put the kettlebell and/or most of your weight on one side, driving the knee over the 2nd/3rd toes while maintaining full foot contact. Again one you can do anywhere with just your bodyweight (just don’t try this one for the first time at an airport and then embarrass yourself as you fall backwards on your butt!)
Following either of these, you can go through dynamic full ROM wrist circles and ankle circles, with or without a balance support. Do this when you have some free time or before a lift to get your extremities working well for you!
We are FIT Strong!