Here we go! Here we go! Part 3!
How's everyone's feet holding up? Have you had a chance to investigate into any of the series? No worries if not. This series of exercises are similar to Part 1 (to see Part 1, click here) except we are working side to side. This is where a lot of injuries can occur, especially the lateral muscles and tendons of the ankle. think about if you have twisted over your here you might twist your ankle. These exercise will help strengthen the ligaments and muscles on the outside of the calve, the peronus longus and peroneus brevis. Here is a more scientific source that goes into more detail about the lateral muscles.
It's crazy to see how our body works to hold us up and together. Here are the exercises to keep your ankle together and hopefully free of any twisted ankle injuries.
Exercise 1: The Side Side (flexed)
Start with the Resistance band around the ball of the foot, the two straps in one hand, and the free foot stamping on both of straps of the resistance bands.
Then, slowly, reach sideways with your pinky toe. As you bring your big toe back in notice if you are letting your foot pop back towards the midline. Resist the popping back.
Do this for about 10-20 reps the first time. Once you have strengthened something you can stretch it out. Word of caution for stretching out an area mostly made up of ligaments. Ligaments are like rubber bands, the more you keep stretching them out, less likely they will contract back to the original length. Strengthen before you stretch.
The same version of this exercise could be done with a pointed foot. This is really beneficial for dancers and those who might have twisted their ankle, since dancers and those who have ankle injuries may have more stretched out ligaments on the top and lateral side of the foot.
Start with the resistance band wrapped around the same way as before, the foot (left) does this version with a point. Again same as before reaching the pinky toe away from the center of the body and resisting the coming back to center.
This exercise is a little more complicated to explain and do, but we will do our best. This one will help strengthen our inner/medial ankle muscles. Due to their length as humans we don't normally twist our ankle towards our midline, BUT some of us may walk around with our arches rolling in/sinking/pronation. That can lead to problems latter down the line.
Begin with the band around the ball of your foot, both of the "straps" are in one hand, taking the straps to the pinky toe side, then step with opposite foot crossing legs.
The reaching away is the big toe side, again trying not to let the foot flop back towards the midline.
10-20 reps of this is a great starting point.
Same as above, just with a pointed foot.
Rep 10-20 times to start.
I should emphasis these exercises CAN be done WITHOUT the resistance band, BUT it really takes the exercises to the next level. You also feel the alignment of your foot, ankle and shin. For those who might be feeling the muscles the next day, or even during the exercises, make sure to take care of your feet. You ay be asking, "But how?", I'll tell you. Roll your feet out on the tennis ball like we did in Part 2. If you want more foot care, stay turned.