Increase your ankle flexibility | My top 3 stretches!
How to stretch your "ankles"
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I put ankles in quotations because you might hear your coach say, "hey loosen up your ankles", or "stretch your ankles", when in reality it's your calf that is tight.
What is my calf?
Your calf is two muscles, Gastrocnemius, and Soleus. Those guys connect to your Achilles tendon. (*Tendon is strong tissue that connects muscle to bone.) You do not loosen up tendons.
When we say your ankles are tight what we mean is that your calf is probably tight and limiting your range of motion into dorsiflexion.
What is dorsiflexion?
The ability to pull your foot towards your shin is called dorsiflexion. When that movement is limited it inhibits your ability to push your knees forward in a squat.
Why does this matter?
Something we always focus on here at roloathletics is movements over everything. If you can move well and get into good positions then chances are you will progress very quickly, decrease your risk for injury, and be all around healthier.
I assume most people do Crossfit for health and wellness and not competition. With that being said, actions speak louder than words. If you are constantly focusing on just getting the fastest time, or heaviest weight, and letting your body do whatever it wants, chances are your ego has gotten in the way of your main goal.
Health and wellness. You have to move well to be healthy!
What do I do for my ankles?
Here are 3 of my favorite accessory pieces to help loosen up your "ankles"!
In this video you see me start with a nice calf mash where all my weight is just rolling through.
Recommendation: Start every session with a minimum of 2 min. each side of both the rolling and mashing.
Next up we have a nice little body weight ankle stretch with some assistance from the box if we need it!
Recommendation: After mashing your calves, hop into this for 1-2 min each side. Also feel free to throw this into any squat pieces while you rest. *Keep the foot flat, and put your chest on your thigh.
Last one I enjoy because of how passive it is. Snag a heavy kettle bell, kneel down, and place it right above your knee to help assist in that knee over the toe. Its important you keep your knee in line with your toe.
Recommendation: Before or after working out do 1-2 min each side. *Keep the foot flat.
Once again guys thank you for taking the time to check out the blog post! If you know someone who could benefit from this post please share it with them! We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below! Happy ankle stretches!