Improve your Ankle Mobility

by - 12:11 PM

Of all the areas of your body to focus on, your ankles, (specifically ankle dorsiflexion mobility) are probably low on the list.  It is my hope in this post to help you decrease pain, decrease injury risk, and improve performance by helping you check up and improve this often forgotten area.

Why improve my ankle mobility?

The ankles, as well as the rest of our joints, do not work in isolation.  Each part affects another.  In the case of the ankle, poor mobility will lead to compensations either above the joint (in the knee and hip) or below the joint (in the foot).  Studies have shown this can lead to injuries such as: anterior knee pain, ACL tears, ankle sprains, low back pain, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and more.  It has also been linked to decreased performance such as decreased vertical leap height and increased time to reach peak force in triple extension activities of the hips knees and ankles.

How do I know if I have poor ankle mobility?

Luckily, there is a quick and easy test to see if you have optimal ankle dorsiflexion mobility you can quickly perform on your own at home. I've outlined the test in the video below.

Steps to improve your ankle mobility
  1. Warm-up:  Tissues are more pliable and able to stretch when they are warm.  This could include: walking, biking, or a hot bath.
  2. Unravel the knots:  You unravel the knots in your garden hose before pulling it around the yard don't you? Dysfunctional areas in tissues can work in a similar way to a knotted hose limiting full ankle mobility.  A physical therapist can help reset up these "knotty" areas with dry needling, myofascial release, or graston techniques.  If you are working on the area yourself, grab a foam roll or a lacrosse ball and get to work.  
  3. Stretch. When mobility is limited, the more the better.  The time it may take to restore optimal mobility may vary depending on what is causing the decreased mobility. However, in general, the more the better.  Below is one of my favorite ankle dorsiflexion mobility techniques.

If decreased mobility, decreased strength, and pain are limiting how well you move and perform, contact me via the contact tab above to discuss how I can help you return to the things you enjoy.

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All information on this website is intended for instruction and informational purposes only. The authors are not responsible for any harm or injury that may result. Significant injury risk is possible if you do not follow due diligence and seek suitable professional advice about your injury. No guarantees of specific results are expressly made or implied on this website.