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BY: TIM RUDD FOR IYCA One training program that should help prevent loss of ankle mobility and keep performance strong     Loss of ankle...


One training program that should help prevent loss of ankle mobility and keep performance strong 

   Loss of ankle mobility can have a negative impact on the health and performance of young athletes. The sports they play are extremely stressful to the body, and the ankle joint is no exception.

   The repetitive strain of athletic practice and competition can shorten the plantar flexors (calves and plantar fascia), and over time, jarring of the joint causes natural gliding to become restricted and limit dorsiflexion.

    A loss of dorsiflexion creates an inability to actively dissipate force in the lower extremity which limits performance, and can lead to problems locally and up the chain (knees and lower back) as the force must go somewhere.

   So to get athletes feeling better, moving better and performing better we need to take a proactive approach to counteract the stress that is placed on the ankle joint.



Ҽ Roll the bottom of feet with lacrosse ball for 30 seconds

“º Roll calves and achilles with foam roller + 5 dorsiflexion + 5 ankle roll on tender spots. 

“º Half-kneeling ankle mobility + roll with stick. 

“º Dorsiflexion calf stretch on wall x 10 each 

Ҽ Foot supination: lift arch then push first toe into ground x10 each.

“º Two-way ankle mobility to wall over fifth toe and third toe x 8 each. 

“º One leg three-way balance hold, three x 10 seconds each 

Ҽ Wear a minimalist shoe (ex: New Balance minimus) to train in


   See the accompanying video for exercise demonstrations. Find the video in the online version of this column at SportStarsOnline. com, or scan this page with the Layar app. 

   This is your athletes insurance for keeping their ankles, knees and backs healthy for optimal performance on and off the field. 


Tim Rudd is an IYCA specialist in youth conditioning and owner of Fit2TheCore.

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