I have next to no ankle mobility. How screwed am I?

Discussion in 'UK Cheerleading Training' started by Frandicterus, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Frandicterus

    Frandicterus New Member

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    I had tight achilles tendons growing up and eventually ended up getting surgery as a kid, but for whatever reason, perhaps due to not receiving any physical therapy, I got back into my old habits of walking on my toes and now I'm back where I was.

    This wasn't such a problem until recently, I've started working out but I am completely unable to do squats while keeping my heels on the ground. From what I understand, ankle mobility/achilles problems are extremely hard to treat.

    Is there any hope for me?
     
  2. geatlid

    geatlid New Member

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    There's always hope. Start stretching and do squats standing with your heels on something? Track progress for motivation. And if you never get to where you want, at least you did your best.
     
  3. red_nick

    red_nick New Member

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    Along with the stretch suggestions, get Olympic weightlifting with the steepest heels you can find.
     
  4. Dutch_Calhoun

    Dutch_Calhoun New Member

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    Habitual toe-walking and resulting ankle equinus doesn't bode well at all for your long-term knee, hip or back health. You'd be wise to pay at least one visit to a physiotherapist to talk about a permanent treatment strategy, as it sounds like you're into a medical issue at present rather than merely a fitness issue (don't try to build strength on a faulty foundation; you'll only be ingraining the dysfunction and hastening inevitable injury). You'll likely be recommended night splints to help develop dorsiflexion while you sleep, and orthotics to help restore the foot to it's intended function as a tripod.
     
  5. mehitabel83

    mehitabel83 New Member

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    There is hope. Plus people have already given good advice.

    Available resources: MobilityWOD, and the r/flexibility and r/weightlifting subreddits, to start.

    I'm not as strong as I'd like to be, but I'm a cleanish lifter with excellent mobility, and have traded my mobility cues with guys I train with (at their request, so I'm not THAT asshole ;-) in exchange for their help improving my technique beyond the level of self-taught from YouTube. I mean, I'm still at YT DIY level, but they are trying to help me, and I them, so that's cool.

    My assorted and not necessary to be implemented all at once recommendations, based on a lifetime of excellent mobility while staying both really active and chubby (forks, man, can't outrun them) into rapidly approaching middle age:

    - staying hydrated immediately boosts flexibility,

    - I can't explain why, but eating collagen-rich foods always helps my flexibility (fish head soup, tough cuts of meat braised until melt-in-the mouth tender, adding gelatin to soups),

    - fascial pin the calves on a foam roller daily (this changed my life, seriously),

    - practice sitting in the bottom of ATG squat for extended periods of time (there is a name for this, but I am blanking),

    - work on general mobility using MobilityWOD or yoga,

    - always do your prehab bc tight Achilles are scary

    - squatting and/or olympic lifting will help range of motion long term,

    - add mobility and balance work as active recovery between sets instead of as a separate workout,

    - wait to do static stretching until after the workout or only do it when fully warmed up (like, do not fuck around on this one--only static stretch when warmed up and the older you are the more important this is, esp with heavily loaded and slow-healing connective tissue.)

    Edit: formatting
     
  6. c00yt825

    c00yt825 New Member

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    My ankles are quite tight too. One of the routines I've been trying out is this one:

    I realize now much more than before that I CAN actually improve my flexibility in every part of my body. It just takes training.

    Good luck,
     
  7. Mr_High_Kick

    Mr_High_Kick New Member

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    In addition to the advice given already, ask yourself how much ankle flexibility do you need for your chosen sport?

    If you are a bodybuilder for example, the leg press machine facilitates squatting-type motions (albeit not the same as a barbell squat) and thus contributes to muscle hypertrophy without the need for a high level of ankle range of motion.

    If you are a kickboxer or other type of martial artist, you can learn to do full splits without increasing ankle flexibility.

    The erroneous notion that every human being should be able to display dorsiflexion range of motion such as in the pistol squat in order to have 'full functional mobility' has been popularised in recent years, usually by copycats of Kelly Starrett's work. However, this is a sweeping generalisation that does not account for differences in anatomy, physiology and pathophysiology. 'Function' is an entirely individual quality.

    There are other ways to squat if your chronic ankle issues cannot be resolved with physical therapy. For example, Hindu squats develop endurance in the thighs and strengthen ligaments of the knees.
     
  8. twelve98

    twelve98 New Member

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    I also walk on my toes for 30 years and know ur pain. Keep at it, progress is slow but it has been coming for me....
     

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