or Connect
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

SNOTrainer Ankle Exercises???

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Hey SNOTrainer,

Someone mentioned some ankle exercises you have in another thread. You have them made you could email or post?

I broke my left ankle four year's ago big time and as a result I know have less strength and mobility on my right side. It's something I'd like to work on prior to skiing this year.



Still doing SYE 3 days a week and subbing in some of the CORE exercises on the second time through.
post #2 of 7
Not SnoTrainer, but here are a few:

Take off your shoes and sit on a chair. Draw the entire alphabet in cursive writing with one ankle, then the other.
Stay seated, with your feet flat on the floor. Begin with your big toe. Lift it off the floor, and let the others follow as if you were playing an arpeggio with your feet. Repeat on the other foot. You may find that it’s easier on one side than the other. The next time you go skiing, see if there is a correlation.
Dorsi flexion occurs when we press the shin against the boot tongues. Plantar flexion happens when we lean back against the boot cuff. In some cases, skiers who have limited dorsi flexion will find themselves in the backseat on the skis, feeling a good deal of quadricep burn. Often, lack of dorsi flexion can cause misalignment of the tibia. This, in turn may effect the alignment of the femur the integrity of the knee may become compromised. As we get older, our range of motion in dorsi flexion diminishes. The Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan performed a study where they discovered that dorsi flexion actually increased pelvic floor activity. As you may recall, the pelvic floor is responsible for stability, so this should be a good motivating factor for performing dorsi flexion exercises. If you would like to keep skiing long enough to finally get a senior citizen discount, practice dorsi flexion exercises at least once a week!
DORSIFLEXION: Place your feet under a couch or table and lift up, pressing the top of your feet into the immovable object.
Another excellent ski-specific way to work your dorsi flexors is to stand at the apex of an inclined step, such as the type that is used in step aerobics classes. Curl your toes towards your shins. You can also do this outdoors at the top of a hill!
The next exercise requires a stability ball and a Theraband.

vSit on the ball with your legs facing a doorway.
vTie a loop at one end of a thera-band
vPut your foot through the loop, keeping the band at the arch
vTie a knot at the other end of the band
vShut the knot in the door
vMove backwards until the band feels taut
vInhale to prepare
vExhale as you pull your toes towards your face
Perform 10 repetitions with a straight leg and 10 with a bent knee. Then switch legs.
Inversion and Eversion are the movements of the ankle that assist in edge control.
Sit facing a chair with your feet on the insides of the chair. Place your hands outside your knees for stabilization. Press against the chair legs with your feet.
Sit facing a chair with your feet on the outside of the chair legs. Place your hands outside your knees for stabilization. Press against the chair legs with your feet.
post #3 of 7

limited dorsiflexion

the main correctable limitation of dorsiflexion (yours may be bone) is a tight calf......so runners stretches, etc help. and all that time on the lift can be used to do isometric anterior tib exercise. mine got visibly larger, and stronger, from doing this. riding a bike with concentration on the upstroke also gets the anterior tib muscles, and the hamstrings and hip flexors.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
My dorsiflexion in my right ankle is 100% limited by the scare tissue from breaking my ankle. I can not in any way get a stretch on my calk/achiles tendon as the joint itself binds up first. I have about 18* on dorsiflexion on the left and 9* on the right.

I'm interested in strength in my ankles so I can provide more resistence via muscles prior to bottoming out quickly at the limit of mobilily.
post #5 of 7

Hello L2T,

Sorry about the delayed reponse....been a little busy training some clients who wanted to work off the feast from yesterday

Anyways, you have painted a pretty picture here and everyone responded with some really good info (well done Lisa and Duke ).

Lets first start with dorsiflexion. It can be accomplished in TWO ways. First, by concentrically contracting the Anterior Tibialis (moving foot up towards the shin). And second, by eccentrically lengthening the Gastrocnemius and Soleus (moving the shin towards the foot). Even though one would think that both motions are the same, they are really quite different. Technically speaking both are dorsiflexion. However, in both examples given, different muscles are controlling the joint motion.

In function, both types occur with gait. If we were to look at skiing, dorsiflexion occurs as we flex into our boots (as Lisa said.....pushing the shin into the front of the boot). Therefore, functionally speaking you would benefit from performing your dorsiflexion exercises while standing (remember we do not ski while sitting down).

Next, since we now established that we can dorsiflex the foot/ankle by lengthening the calves (Duke mentioned the importance of stretching your calves), it is important to have the available range. As you mentioned, you broke your ankle and all injuries heal with scar tissue which help you heal, but will be a little cranky once you get back into movement. Now, your dorsiflexion is limited (9 deg.) with a minimum of 12 degrees just to walk properly. Since you feel your ankle "lockup" lets up know that your talus is not gliding properly. To help with this, some foam roller activity to the calves AND Ant. Tib can help you gain more dorsiflexion in addition to other flexibility exercises. (We can email info on foam rolling if you need......plus Lisa had a great thread on this before).

Back into function.....really quick. All movement is 3 dimensional (we are big on 3D movement if you have read our stuff before). So we can apply the same to Dorsiflexion. The exercises below all have a component of Dorsiflexion to it. In addition, it will also include movement in the frontal plane and transverse plane to create a completely functional response at the foot and ankle complex.

Read more here:

Here are the exercises as follows:

The goal of each exercise is to train the STANCE LEG not the leg that is doing the reaching. With your REACHING LEG reach as far a possible in the direction indicated. The movement should be smooth and with a medium tempo. Perform 10 REPS on EACH leg in EACH movement. You can perform all 40 reps in a row or perform them by alternating legs in each exercise.

Just another side note.....by training dorsiflexion this way, you get the added proprioceptive benefits which will help your balance while you ski.

Enjoy the execises and let us know how you do!

Ski You Later,
post #6 of 7

loosening scar tissue

it might also help to move the ankle the other direction to break up scar tissue a bit......as in the japanese sitting position with weight on the plantar flexed ankle
post #7 of 7
Those dorsiflexion exercises are interesting, I will give them a go. I'm doing a lot of intensive stretching because of my achilles tendonosis, but it always bottoms out, and my angles are still pretty pathetic.

I can't do Lisa's toe Argeggio at all! The toes all go up together, or down.

Probably the OP doesn't have any problems with the achilles, but apparently you can actuallly strengthen the tendon itself by doing heel lowers off a step. You do one foot at a time, go up on tip toe, then slowly lower the heel off the end of the step. It's the lowering, not the raising, which does the good.
Then you do it carrying weights (in a backpack or however).

And finally, you lower the heel fast, and bounce back up to tip toe in one fast movement. That's to build elasticity power. I am up to that one on my right now, but the left is still at slow lowers stage.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: