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Ankle Mobility Work

Perform these on dry land, on a warm, comfortable surface. Remove your shoes. If you cannot sit back on your heels comfortably, or if you cannot point your toes away and behind the plane made by the front of your shin, you need to increase your ankle mobility.

Standing Ankle Circles

Your breathing should be even, deep, and relaxed. (Always breathe this way when performing dynamic stretching movements.)

Stand barefoot with feet at shoulder width, one foot a half foot-length ahead of the other. Supporting most of your weight with your rear foot, lift the heel of the forward foot off the floor. Keeping the toes of the forward foot flat on the floor, move the knee slowly in a clockwise circle above that foot, 10 times. Then move it 10 times in a counterclockwise direction. Shift your weight onto your front foot, lift the heel of the rear foot off the floor, and repeat the circles (in both directions) with the rear leg. Then reverse your leg positions so that the other foot is forward, and repeat the exercise. This may sound like a lot, but when the exercise is comfortable, you should complete it in about two minutes.

Seated Ankle Stretch

Do not force this stretch. If it hurts, ease off. Kneel on the floor with the tops of your feet flat on the floor. Sit back gently as far as comfortably possible and hold the stretch for 30 seconds. Rest and repeat a total of three times. The goal is to be able to sit comfortably on your heels for a minute (no repeats necessary). This actually stretches your shin (tibialis anterior), but everybody calls it an ankle stretch...



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