HOLLER if you have plantar fasciitis or tight calves. What about a foot, calf, and knee pain every time your squat and run? Ever thought maybe your ankle joint could be the issue?
- Let’s check your mobility! Closed chain dorsiflexion is what you need when running, squatting, lunging! It is the ability for your ankle joint to move with your foot fixed on the ground. There are 2 ways to check below. The first you use the wall, keep heel flat and drive knee directly forward over 2nd toe. The second is in kneeling with 1 leg (aka half kneeling) and using a PVC pipe. The goal is that you can achieve about 50 degrees of ankle bend or about 5-6 inches away from the way or PVC pipe without your heel lifting. The other way to check the range of motion is an open chain. Meaning your foot is not fixed on the ground and pulling straight back. The goal is about 10-15 degrees here but this not as functionally important as closed chain! These are great ways to find out if you have tight calves.
Now let’s fix it!!! First, let’s open the joint with a banded mobility stretch!!! As you can see from the video you must stay very focused (totally kidding!!!) The band can be locked to your back foot, pull back with your hand, or attach it to the rig at the gym! Explore your range of motion by driving knee straight forward and then out lateral as well!
- The final step, use the range of motion you just gained. Practice eccentric calf raises to improve control. This is a great exercise for running, jumping rope, and any dynamic use of your calf to prime the movement before a training session!
If you are still having pain while running and squatting especially pain in the front along your ankle crease please seek out a physical therapist that specializes in manual therapy. There are several taping, joint mobilizations, and hands-on techniques that can drop start you moving forward towards a healthy #mobilityathlete