Hi. I’m Dr. Eric Cobb of Z Health Performance. Today, we are continuing on our work on the ankle. (Check out Part 1 and Part 2 and Part 3)
We’re going to specifically look today at using bands to improve ankle dorsiflexion.
I’m gonna show you my one favorite exercise, so this will be a short video.
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So we have been talking about ankles for the last few weeks. Before you get into this exercise, I want you to go through your warm up. Remember we’ve talked about manually mobilizing the ankle and foot, We’ve talked about doing basic range of motion exercises.
So I want you to do that prior to going to this particular exercise. Last time, we then did some wall drills where we were using a wall and we were trying to really drive into dorsiflexion because many people that are struggling to rehabilitate their ankle or to improve mechanics for sports, lack dorsiflexion.
Now a lot of people show a lot of different Band exercises and it can become a little bit overwhelming.
So what I wanna do is show you today my very favorite exercise. It’s simple, it’s easy, and it’s only one thing you have to remember. For this, you’re gonna need some type of band.
Now, I’m gonna use a small loop band from our favorite company Flexit, and you’re also going to need a step.
Generally, for the step height, you want it to be roughly eight inches.
I’m just using two yoga blocks stacked on top of one another. The issue with the yoga blocks is that they may move a little bit, and I need your foot and ankle to be quite secure when you do this.
So this is just for the sake of the demo Alright?
I would preferably have something more fixed like a plyometric box or whatever. But it just needs to be elevated and you need to be able to be put your weight on it and not have it move too much.
So the way that we’re gonna set this up is we’re gonna step on the band with our back foot. Now the most critical part however is the band placement.
So if we’re working on dorsiflexion in my left ankle, what I wanna do is place the band so that the band is actually going to be below my ankle bones.
If we place the band up here, which is what I see a lot of people doing with ankle mobilization, we’re actually probably not achieving what we want to achieve.
So you wanna make sure that this is below. So I’m gonna stand on it, get some stress, and make sure it’s placed appropriately.
So it’s gonna be a little bit lower on the foot maybe than you’re used to.
So now I’m just gonna start to go through my dorsiflexion movements.
Remember, we’ve done a pole or stick exercise, imagining the stick is in front of our second and third toes, and we’re driving to the outside of that stick. We’re just gonna repeat that same type of exercise, but now we’re gonna use the band to increase the dorsiflexion demands.
This is a really, really simple way to start to use some load to improve mobility and dorsiflexion. If you do somewhere between ten and twenty reps, step away from that, take a walk, try your squat again, see how much discomfort you’re experiencing.
Many people report the very best results of anything I’ve shown you thus far with this one simple exercise. Give this one a shot and let us know how it works for you.