Shortened or tight lower leg muscles can cause a decreased range of motion and flexibility from the leg to the foot. The normal range or motion of the ankle should allow you to extend the foot to a downward point that is about a 50 degree angle from the floor and up to about a 20 degree angle above.
Tibias Anterior (Front Calf and Ankle)
One can self stretch and extend the tibias anterior to improve their downward flex of the ankle by using a common yoga pose which is also a formal Japanese sitting position known as “seiza.”
Stand on your knees with the torso upright and your feet together. Staying is an upright position, lower your body down with your gluts resting on your heels with your feet extended.
This stretch may be difficult if you have tightened quads. If so, being with your toes on the floor and ankles bent until you are comfortable to rest the ankle in an extended position onto the floor.
Gastrocnemius-Soleus (Rear Calf and Ankle)
This muscle group runs from the upper calf down to the Achilles tendon and has two heads. The Achilles tendon is the strongest tendon in the body. Tightness in the Achilles tendon can cause a reduced range of motion in the ankle.
To self stretch this area, sit with your leg straight. Use your towel to wrap around the foot and provide resistance to the back of your ankle. After performing this stretch, sit with your knees bent and use the towel around the foot to again provide resistance.Maintaining a good stretching routine is not just part of your warm up or cool down, but important to overall body fitness and health.
Come in to BOOTCAMP 619 and make a good stretch part of your New Year’s resolution!