Fix Your Weak Foundation: Your Ankles
The first thing I want to say is that if you are reading this then you probably have some level of ankle weakness. If so, there’s no way around it. You need to fix your weak ankles! There are many ways to do this and the best one will depend on what type of athlete you are. For most athletes, the goal is to increase range of motion without increasing the amount of time spent doing it.
There are two main types of ankle problems that can cause pain or limit movement: plantar fasciitis and tendinosis. Both conditions affect different parts of the foot and both require treatment. However, they each present with their own set of challenges that must be overcome before any improvement can occur.
Tendinosis is caused by overuse and usually responds well to rest. Plantar fasciitis, on the other hand, often requires surgery to correct. Unfortunately, plantar fasciitis is not curable and it may never be completely cured. With that being said, it can sometimes be managed effectively with proper rehabilitation techniques.
You should start with the basics, which typically include ice and rest. In addition, you’ll want to stretch the plantar fascia regularly. You can also try rolling your feet on a golf ball for 10-20 seconds at a time (over the affected area) or using a foam roller to apply pressure with your body weight.
In addition to this basic treatment, it’s often recommended that you try to strengthen the muscles of the foot and ankle. This can be done using a tennis ball, which can be very effective. The best way to use it is by placing the ball under your feet and just moving them around in circles for 3-5 minutes at a time (repeat as necessary).
This will help to strengthen the muscles that support and stabilize the ankle. It can also help to “loosen up” the plantar fascia. Ice should be applied after this exercise to prevent excessive inflammation.
You can also use a barbell to strengthen the muscles of the feet and ankle by standing on the middle of a barbell (or towels) with your heels on the bar. Your toes should just barely touch the floor. The goal here is not to lift the weight of the bar off the ground; rather, it’s to keep your balance while you do single leg curls- this also works your hamstrings and glutes.
Sources & references used in this article:
Swing Flaws and Fitness Fixes: Fix Your Swing by Putting Flexibility, Strength, and Stamina in Your Golf Bag by K Roberts – 2009 – books.google.com
Foundation (Enhanced Edition): Redefine Your Core, Conquer Back Pain, and Move with Confidence by E Goodman, P Park – 2011 – books.google.com
Reliability of the CMT neuropathy score (second version) in Charcot‐Marie‐Tooth disease by SM Murphy, DN Herrmann… – Journal of the …, 2011 – Wiley Online Library
Foot and ankle problems in rheumatoid arthritis by J Michelson, M Easley, FM Wigley… – Foot & ankle …, 1994 – journals.sagepub.com
Kinesiology of the musculoskeletal system-e-book: foundations for rehabilitation by DA Neumann – 2013 – books.google.com
Athletic body in balance by G Cook – 2003 – books.google.com
Concentric evertor strength differences and functional ankle instability: a meta-analysis by BL Arnold, SW Linens… – Journal of athletic …, 2009 – meridian.allenpress.com