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15 December 2010 ~ 3 Comments

Mobilization- Ankle

This post is a continuation from yesterdays installment on stretching out the calf. While performing the stretches, you may have felt pressure/pain in the joint itself versus a pull in the muscle. This can be caused by a tight ankle joint where the motion is restricted there versus up in the muscles and tendons. This is common following ankle sprains or even repetitive use from impact sports such as running and jumping. To work on improving that mobility, I’m going to take you through a series of joint mobilizations that will work on both the ankle and knee (since the large calf muscle, the gastroc, crosses both you’ll need to work on both). To perform these techniques you’ll need a piece of elastic tubing or a friend to hold a rope/stretch strap. The tubing or elastic band is cheap and can be found in the fitness section at Target, a sporting good store, or your local PT practice. You will also need a towel roll or tennis ball to work on the upper calf/behind the knee.

Here is a video demonstration of the techniques. Remember- this should NOT hurt. Unlike the stretches where we were looking for a 20-30 second hold, for these were looking for repetitions- shoot for sets of 10-20.

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3 Responses to “Mobilization- Ankle”

  1. Jakob 18 December 2010 at 3:19 pm Permalink

    First of all, I love your site, you are doing a great, excellent job and you’ve already helped me through lots of injuries.

    I’ve got a question regarding the part with knee mobilization in this particular video. I was told that one wants mobility in the ankles and hips but stability in the knees. Therefore, I wanted to ask you if you could briefly explain to me why you are working knee mobility in this video, did I misunderstand the concept of stability in the knees?

    Thanks in advance, a very grateful fan of your work,

  2. Leigh 20 December 2010 at 8:27 am Permalink

    Hey Jakob, thanks for the question. :)

    The reason for using the tennis ball mob at the knee is simply to loosen the upper part of the gastroc muscles where they cross the back of the knee joint. Really common for athletes to build up soft tissue restrictions back there with the hamstring/gastroc tendons. The result can be that you lose the ability to straighten your knee all the way. If this happens, it will affect the knee, hip and ankle. While stability is important, so is being able to move through your full range of motion. Does that make sense?? We’re not trying to gain extra motion, just getting back full motion.


  3. Jakob 23 December 2010 at 5:01 am Permalink

    Thanks, I get it (-:

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