Lower Leg Maintenece

Lower Leg Maintenance The high volume of foot contacts that occurs during marathon training and pre-season sports practices can wreak havoc unprepared feet and ankles. In addition to a well rounded training program including manual therapy, plyometric training and strength training I recommend these clients to practice daily lower leg maintenance drills to maintain joint function and connective tissue quality as training volume increases. Below I demonstrate three simple drills to keep your lower legs and feet healthy. Top Left: Active Ankle Dorsiflexion Lack of dorsiflexion ROM if left unchecked can have a huge ripple effect upstream to the knees, hip and back. This drill will help maintain dorsiflexion range of motion and posterior compartment connective tissue pliability. Actively rock in and out of dorsiflexion and focus on actively pulling yourself into the movement using your tibialis anterior. Perform 10-20 repetitions each. Vary the direction of the knee over the inside, middle and outside of the foot. Bottom Left: Plantar Flexion Rocking This is great drill to open up the often neglected anterior compartment specifically the extensor retinaculum and tibialis anterior. Sit back on the heels and lift one knee off the ground at a time. Perform 10-20 each side. To make the drill harder sit back further on the heels, to make it easier shift your bodyweight forward. Alternate between actively pressing the top of the foot into the ground (active dorsiflexion) and contracting the calf and lifting the knee off the ground (active plantar flexion). Right: Big Toe Extension Rocking + Kneel to Squat “The Great Toe” is especially important for locomotion and overall movement health and can wreak havoc if it stiffens up. Big toe rocking is a great drill to maintain hallux extension and keep the arch of the foot healthy. A great progression from here is the Kneel to Squat drill which you’ll see at the end of the video. This progression provides an increased challenge to toe extension while also integrating active ankle dorsiflexion. Perform 10-15 reps of either exercise.- @kev_in_carr

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