Corrective Ways to Improve Ankle Mobility Part 1

Corrective Ways to Improve Ankle Mobility Part 1

There are many techniques that may help improve your ankle mobility. Manual muscle release, self myofascial release, stretching, mobilizations, muscle activations and integrations to name a few. Let’s break down techniques and how to implement them to get the most effective results.

Myofascial Muscle Release

What’s a Release?

When we overuse certain muscles they can develop tight spots (trigger points). These trigger points can start to create pain. The goal of myofascial release is to apply pressure to these trigger points until they release.

Types

The two most popular types, manual and self releases. Manual releases involves another person, usually a physical therapist using their hands to release the muscle. Self releases involve a release tool like a foam roller or softball and the person performing the release for themselves.

How It Can Help

By applying the pressure to these trigger points it will start to loosen and allow the muscle to properly lengthen. Once the muscle is properly lengthened you can efficiently move on to the next steps like mobilizations and stretches.

Joint Mobilizations

What’s a Mobilization?

Many of our joints become stiff over time from not moving enough or having poor movement habits. Joint mobilizations increase mobility through isolated body movements that target specific joints. These mobilizations can only be performed optimally following muscle release. The releases will allow for proper length of the muscle leading to increased mobilization.

How It Can Help

Joint mobilizations help improve mobility of the joint, once that is achieved you can start improving movement patterns while exercising.  It will also help you re-pattern these important joint movements back into your brain so they become habit. These habits will lead to less pain and injury.

Stretching

The regular outlook on Stretching?

Stretching feels great! However, being too flexible is just as bad as not being flexible. If the body is unable to move a certain way and you continue to push to push it past the limit. You may not realize that your body may have a restriction. Instead of the stretch being effective it’s actually stretching  something totally different then planned.

When to Stretch?

Stretching is most beneficial after incorporating the above 2 techniques. Releases and mobilizations allow for the muscles to be properly lengthened. This is when stretching is most beneficial and can actually lengthen the muscle.

How It Can Help

Properly lengthening the muscles can put the joints and muscles into proper position allowing for strengthening exercises to be more beneficial and less likely to injure you!

Check back next week  to get the continuation and second part to this article, it will include videos on how to improve.

 

Written By:

Robert Jost

ACE-CPT, NSCA-CPT

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