Ankle stretch to recover injured ankles
Ankle stretches? Don’t let tight ankles hold you back!
A common trait among soccer players are tight calves and ligaments around the ankles. You might not have even noticed it yet, or you might consistently suffer from sprained (twisted) ankles that are hampering the training you need to fulfil your soccer potential. Either way, the following ankle stretch should be a vital component of your training program to increase flexibility and maximise the results your speed training. Tight calves and ankles are detrimental to your on the field performance because these muscles and ligaments play a fundamental role in raising the heel so that we can walk, run and jump!
For this stretch you’re going to need a wall to push up against. It’s recommended that you do this exercise bare-foot, in order to get the full range of motion required for maximum results.
- Facing a wall, place one foot directly towards the wall so that your toes are approximately one inch away from the base of the wall.
- Step back half a yard with your other foot and bend both knees.
- Keeping your forward foot planted, try to push your knee towards the wall so that you feel a stretch at the back of the ankle
DO NOT over-stretch your ankle. This stretch should not be uncomfortable. If it feels painful then move your foot closer to the wall until you build enough flexibility to progress further away. The aim of this stretch is to progressively get further and further away from the wall as your flexibility increases.
KEY BENEFITS OF THIS STRETCH
Injury prevention – This ankle stretch will help to bulletproof your ankles and protect them from common twists and strains associated with playing soccer. By increasing the flexibility in your ankle, you’re increasing the available range of motion which will better prepare your body for anytime it rolls an uneven pitch, under the force of a tackle or awkward landing.
Increased Speed – This area of the body plays a vital part in transferring the power generated in your posterior chain, through the legs and to the ground in order to propel your body forward. A lack of flexibility in the ankle causes some of that force to be lost. By increasing the flexibility with this stretch, your are increasing the amount of force that your body can transfer from the power in your large leg muscles down into the ground.