Welcome back to the TRX Mobility 101 Series! This week we are going to look at how we can rejuvenate the soft tissue and remove restriction through the ankles and calves.
In case you missed the first two parts of the series, in Part 1 we defined and addressed the importance of mobility, identifying the hips; and in Part 2 we addressed the shoulders and t-spine.
The TRX® Suspension TrainerTM and TRX® Duo TrainerTM are the perfect tools to assist with ankle and calf mobility (and all mobility for that matter) because they:
- Support unloaded movement, to avoid adding any additional stress to the joints
- Activate the core, leading to a strong foundation for movement
- Help you reclaim your movement by achieving better positional competence
Ankles and Calves
So, why is the subject of ankles and calves worthy of an entire blog post? Considering how much time we spend on our feet, we pay far too little attention to their importance in the whole scheme of things. For instance, stiffness in this area can contribute to issues further up the kinetic chain, such as in the knees and hips. Committing to post-workout ankle and calf mobility exercises a couple of times a week can make a huge difference and help you avoid injury and pain in the future.
Here’s a good starting point:
A) Calf Smash
- Sit on the floor and place a roller or ball under your left calf, just below the knee, then slowly move your lower leg from side to side across the mobility tool. You can also make circles clockwise and counterclockwise with your foot. After approximately a minute, move on to the next section by moving the ball or roller down your calf. Repeat until you’re just above your ankle.
- Switch legs and repeat.
B) TRX Duo Trainer Assisted Pistol Squat
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with feet neutral (i.e. straight). Holding onto the TRX Duo Trainer handles (handles positioned mid-sternum), with your tummy tight and looking straight ahead, start squatting down with your left leg, trying to push your left knee out so it tracks over your foot.
- As you lower yourself towards the floor, extend your right leg out in front of you and slightly to the side. As you lower, allow the arms to extend while holding on to one or both the Duo Trainer handles for assistance. Keep lowering yourself until you’re in a butt-to-heels squat, or as close as you can get without rounding your back.
- Once you get into the bottom position, hang out for a couple of minutes and feel the stretch in your ankle. If you can’t get into the bottom position or fall over once you get there, place the heel of the extended leg on the ground just slightly in front and to the side of the stance leg.
- Perform this exercise for about one-minute, and then switch legs.