By Joey Greany, Tampa Bay Rays
While ankle mobility might not be on your current priority list for training, it is essential for successful, injury-free performance. From squats, to plyometrics, quick starts, fast accelerations, controlled decelerations, all-out sprints, etc., ankle mobility can increase force production and enhance performance. Ankle mobility can also help prevent unwanted injuries or strains associated with sudden changes in speed and direction. Because the ankle is the first major joint that absorbs force when the foot hits the ground, full ankle mobility is essential. When ankle mobility is lacking, the shock upon ground contact will be absorbed further up the kinetic chain and can contribute to an increased risk of pain at the knee, hip and/or low back. Greater range of motion in the ankle allows for greater force production leading to improved performance and reduced risk of injury.
This post will explain how to use the kettlebell to improve ankle mobility.
How to do it:
Kneel on one knee holding a KB in both hands in front of your groin
Your head us up and your hips and chest are square
Set your core and turn your lead leg out about 45-degrees
Keeping your core tight and the heel of your lead foot flat on the floor, slowly rock your hips forward and back to increase mobility in your ankle and produce a dynamic stretch the hip flexors of your back hip
Make sure that your lead knee stays in-line with your toes and does not cave in or bow out
Rock as far forward as possible without discomfort or pain
Start with 1×10 and gradually progress to 3×10 on each side
Perform the same movements without external resistance
Place lead foot on a weight plate or low board to increase range of motion in the lead ankle
For more training tips from Joey Greany: https://www.instagram.com/joeygreany/?hl=en
Joe Greany, RSCC, PES, is the Major League Strength and Conditioning Coach, Tampa Bay Rays.