Ankle Mobility Exercises for Runners
Many of us will have probably felt occasional tightness in our ankles, perhaps the day after a long run. Usually, a little calf stretching helps, but often it feels like the ankle and foot need to be mobilised dynamically.
The simple exercise shown in the video above starts in the familiar position of a classic calf stretch. From that start point, we then incorporate the momentum of the swinging leg to drive the standing foot and ankle from the top-down into passive load-bearing pronation and supination, helping to mobilise the sub-talar joint, midfoot and surrounding soft tissues.
Give it a go! But don’t work into any ranges of motion which produce pain.
Banded Ankle Dorsiflexion Exercise to Improve Mobility
Sometimes, however, a lack of ankle mobility isn’t down to muscular tightness or stiffness in the sub-talar joint.
Instead, we can look to the required accessory movements at the ankle (anterior and posterior glide of the talocrural joint), or lack thereof as a potential cause for lack of ankle dorsiflexion.
A lack of accessory movement at the ankle particularly tends to become an issue when there has been a history of a traumatic ankle injury, like an inversion sprain and damage to the lateral ankle ligaments. Sometimes during the healing process, the ability for the talocrural joint to glide anteriorly and posteriorly is reduced. Over time this impedes the quality of ankle dorsiflexion and limits range of motion.
In the video above, I demonstrate a great ankle mobility drill using a resistance band that you can use to improve accessory movement and improve your range of ankle dorsiflexion.