Ankle Flexibility Problems
Posted: 21 April 2014 12:26 AM   [ Ignore ]
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I’ve just recently started doing crossfit workouts at home and have hit a problem when performing any exercise involving squats. Specifically where weights are involved such as thrusters, squat snatch etc.
Over the years I’ve had a number of injuries to both ankles which have left them inflexible to the point where I struggle to extend my knees beyond the level of my toes. I can’t squat anywhere near parallel before my ankles start to lift and I’m forced up on to my toes. This obviously makes me lose balance and I invariably end up aborting the move.
Is there any method I can use to improve the flexibility of my ankles to facilitate these exercises and are there any alternative moves I can sub until the flexibility improves? I currently elevate my ankles on a 1” plank when I do air squats which seems to be a benefit but isn’t practical for most lifts.
NB my physio prescribed ankle extension exercises which have improved the Achilles tendonitis in the right ankle but has made no difference to the ligament damage in the left.
Thanks in advance folks.

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Posted: 21 April 2014 05:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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I will state the obvious that no matter what you do, it won’t improve your mobility overnight. It’s a long process, especially with injuries.

Having said that, when we talk mobility and CrossFit, I check http://www.mobilitywod.com
Type “ankle mobility” in the search box and see if anything useful comes up.

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Posted: 21 April 2014 06:11 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Vaulty Monk - 21 April 2014 05:05 AM

I will state the obvious that no matter what you do, it won’t improve your mobility overnight. It’s a long process, especially with injuries.

Having said that, when we talk mobility and CrossFit, I check http://www.mobilitywod.com
Type “ankle mobility” in the search box and see if anything useful comes up.

Thanks, there’s some very useful information on there. Now all I need is a dictionary of anatomy so I know what they’re talking about.  wink

The question now is do I sub the WOD exercises for one less taxing on the ankles or just work to a reduced range of movement whilst I’m developing the flexibility? As you say the problem won’t be solved overnight so am I in danger of developing bad habits by compensating during exercises I might be better avoiding altogether for the time being?

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Posted: 21 April 2014 06:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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strength vs flexibility

I too have very tight inflexible ankles, though after 6 years of doing CrossFit I can now get my knees to go in front of my ankles when I squat, until I realized
that my ankles were not flexible I was very proud of myself that when I did lowbar back squats I could keep my knees from shifting foreword.
So while you’re working to increase your ankle flexibility you’re going to be working very hard on hamstring strength, air squats, wall squats etc to help compensate. Until you’re able to stay upright while in the bottom of the squat with your heels on the ground.
If I remember K-Stars first post for mobility WOD was to have you sit in the bottom of the squat for 10 minutes over the course of the day.

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Posted: 21 April 2014 08:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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Magdawg2020 - 21 April 2014 06:48 AM

If I remember K-Stars first post for mobility WOD was to have you sit in the bottom of the squat for 10 minutes over the course of the day.

I’ll give that a try along with some of the exercises recommended on the mobilitywod website. Then maybe next time I do an overhead squat I won’t finish on my face.  confused

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Posted: 24 April 2014 04:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Yoksha - 21 April 2014 08:21 AM
Magdawg2020 - 21 April 2014 06:48 AM

If I remember K-Stars first post for mobility WOD was to have you sit in the bottom of the squat for 10 minutes over the course of the day.

I’ll give that a try along with some of the exercises recommended on the mobilitywod website. Then maybe next time I do an overhead squat I won’t finish on my face.  confused

I have always leaned towards box squat training , The idea is to lead with your butt like sitting in a chair flaring your knees outward thru the movement. I have used this form with flat wrestling shoe not requiring a heel to achieve depth as in the video http://vimeo.com/81499765                        . I have found this form also takes stress off the knees. If you watch the video you notice I have minimal tracking out over my feet so ankle flexibility isn’t an issue. This form works a lot of Hips, Glutes. Hamstrings. it is highly effective for building a strong squat. Good luck   p.s I have had broken ankles myself on both legs. 2 left 1 right so I understand ankle issues wink

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