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:http://discoveroutdoormovement.blogs...et-stupid.html
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,