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Ankle Flexibility

In keeping with the foot theme from yesterday, I have another question… how flexible are your ankles?

Back when I ran myself to the injured list for 5 1/2 weeks, I went to a sports massage therapist who told me my ankles were very inflexible. I took this quite offensively because I’ve always been proud of my flexibility. But truth be told, I think he was right :).

Ankle flexibility is important, especially for runners. And tight ankles can lead to quite a few aches and pains, including calf injuries. Yup, I’ve had that injury…

Paula Quinene, Livestrong:

Tight joints, including your ankles, make it difficult to maintain correct form while you run. Ankles with a limited range of motion also predispose you to tight calf muscles as they are the major muscles acting on your ankles. This condition can hurt your running performance by causing further injury, rendering you out of commission from your training. Stretches for the muscles acting on your ankles stretch your ankles.

But no need to worry. While you’re working on spreading those toes, you can also improve your ankle flexibility. You can read about wall-and-toes, runner’s calf stretch, tibialis stretch, and lateral stretch here. Or if you’re more interested in a few yoga poses to help your ankles, check out this article. This article also has a few basic ankle stretches.

I love how a sport that can seem so simple, can be so much more complex. When I first started running many years ago, I never though my toes, ankles, back muscles, or hips would play such an important role. I’m glad I’m finally starting to figure it all out (or at least some of it).

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Yea, I said I wasn’t going to run today but I did anyway. The thought of being inside on such a beautiful day did not seem appealing. I was feeling fine so I went for an easy 5 1/2 miles. It was around 85 degrees here in NC and I must say, running in the heat isn’t as much fun as running in the cold. Garmin stats are here and I love that I’m making new friends on Garmin Connect! Tomorrow is a functional fitness and strength training day.

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5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Hi, have you ever looked into Chi Running? Thought I’d ask as your last paragraph struck a chord – no one teaches you how to run, what techniques are good/bad – Chi running has made so much sense to me in terms of posture, relaxing your body and using your core to run – I think you might find it interesting

    April 10, 2013
    • I actually took a chi running class last summer. I really enjoyed it and learned a lot. During the summer, I was very focused on form but I got away from the mindfulness. Fortunately, I can go back and take the class again whenever I want without having to pay so maybe I’ll do that soon. It’ll be nice to have a reminder of the chi running lessons. I also want to learn about pose method. Have you ever tried that?

      April 10, 2013
      • No, I’ve never tried Pose, there was an offer of a free Chi-running session at my gym – I took it and haven’t looked back! Nice that you can go back for free – there’s always something new to work on……

        April 11, 2013
  2. I so need to check out those websites. My ankles and calves are so inflexible that it’s scary.

    April 10, 2013
    • Oh my ankles are pretty inflexible too. It’s crazy to see just how big of a role EVERY part of our bodies play in our movement. And I’m loving getting more in tune with my body – its strengths, and its weaknesses. It’ll only help my running in the future.

      April 10, 2013

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