What to do when you have run out of things to do
Ankle range and mobility is a vital part of a gymnast’s ability to be able to produce powerful jumps, safe landings and injury prevention. While we are spending more time at home, here is part 2 of the tips our High Performance Gymnasts are using to improve their gymnastics from home!
If you want to read our first part to this series, check out our shoulder mobility exercises here 👉
Ankle Range and Mobility
Knee to wall
First thing is first, check your angle range! A simple way to do this is by testing your knee to wall.
Place your foot toe to the wall with your heel on the ground and bend your knee until it touches the wall.
The important thing with this exercise is your heel must stay on the ground when you bend your knee! If it comes off the ground before your knee touches the wall, you need to move your foot closer to the wall. Take note of your number (use a ruler to measure) and aim to improve it over 4 weeks.
Repeat this back and forth motion 20 times on each side and try to get a little further each time. Think about “relaxing” at the front of your ankle to start to create more space between the joint.
This is a great stretch to use your body weight to help give you assistance to get more range in your ankle, plus you should get an awesome achilles/calf stretch!
Sit on your heels and bend one leg and place your foot on the ground in line with your knee. Use your chest / hands to gentle press your knee over your foot, keeping your heel on the ground.
Hold for 1 minute on each side or do 10 slow pulses back and forth to make it a dynamic (pre training!) stretch.
Time to stretch the toes and front of ankles! Place your knees on a slightly raised surface with your toes pointed and front of foot on the floor.
It is really important in this exercise that you keep a straight line from your knee to your toe!
Hold for 30 seconds and if the stretch is too intense, use your hands on the floor to decrease the stretch.
Calf raise sissy squat
Strengthening your calves and ankles is going to be really important to ensure you have lots of power to do those amazing flips!
Start this exercise with your heels and feet together. You can use a bar for assistance or without the bar for an extra challenge!
Rise up only your toes, keeping your heels squeezed together! Bend your knees, keeping your ankles still and not dropping from your calf raise. Straighten your legs, staying high on your calf raise, and lower your heels. Repeat 20 times!
You can do this exercise single leg too, try 10 on each leg to start, using a bar to balance.
Single leg side hops to check
This exercise is going to be great for improving your proprioception and helping you STICK those landings!
Start on one side of a line on one leg. Hop to the other side of the line, staying on the leg you started, hop back over the line. Continue this for 10 repetitions. Try to “stick” on each side for 3 seconds before you jump back over the line. Swap legs and repeat!
Make sure your foot stays parallel and knee is tracking directly in line with your big toe as you land.