By ankle we mean the entire foot from the knee and below. The knee itself is not included in this concept. Let's talk about how to strengthen the ankle at home and in the gym, and also why this is necessary.
Why strengthen the ankle?
Remember the feeling when you tuck your foot. If it were not for the ligaments and muscles of the legs, we would do it at every step. Every time the joint would suffer. But this does not happen. The calf muscles hold the leg firmly. Let's not go deep into what other muscles form the lower leg and foot - this is not an anatomy lesson.
The first and main function of a strong ankle is to maintain the human body in an upright position. Due to such a heavy load, the Achilles tendon is quite thick (you can feel it over each heel). The next function is to provide walking and running.
People with weak muscles of the lower leg tend to tuck their legs, they are more likely to fall and damage something to themselves. This is the important role of the ankle apparatus.
And finally, the calf and soleus muscles organize the appearance of our lower leg. This is very important for bodybuilders. Therefore, they pump caviar from all sides.
What problems are there at the foot and lower leg?
Too many people are born with an anomaly in the structure of the foot - flat feet. It is transverse and longitudinal, but this is not the main thing. It is important that in the first years of life, special exercises help get rid of such a deformation. With age, this mission becomes impossible. Adults whose legs are not resting in a relaxed position need special orthopedic insoles.
Prevention of flat feet should be carried out in childhood by strengthening the foot and ankle.
What threatens foot problems
Incorrect positioning of the leg leads to deformation of the entire skeleton, starting from the knees. First they hurt, then the problem extends to the hip joint. Flat feet affect the well-being of a person, often the cause of headaches and neck pains, poor posture. The joint suffers first. That joint is responsible for our mobility, flexibility.
Now you understand how important it is to strengthen the ankle from an early age. By the way, with flat feet, the need for training the ankle muscles increases significantly. Because with a weak ligamentous apparatus, such people are more at risk of tucking their legs than healthy ones. It also hurts them to run for a long time.
Strengthening the lower leg and foot at home and in the hall
There are many ways, let's analyze 6 basic methods that will help keep the joint and ligaments in good health:
- Jump rope. You need to jump low and try not to fall on your heel. In this exercise , hand coordination , reaction develops . The ability to simultaneously engage many muscles of the body is aggravated. You need to jump on toes, preferably on a soft surface and in shock-absorbing sneakers. With flat feet, jumping without shoes increases the unwanted load on the joint.
- Running on toes. If you are running, organize periods of running on toes. For example, you run 5 km in a day. Run one kilometer only on toes. You can split this kilometer into several sections throughout the route.
- Throw buttons on the floor. Arrange with the other half of the competition who will collect the buttons with the bare foot more. Grab the buttons with your toes and transfer to 2 cans. This is useful and interesting. Firstly, the motility of the toes develops, and secondly, certain areas of the brain also work.
- Rises on toes at an elevation. You can use any threshold or put unnecessary books. Stand with your socks on the hill so that the heels lowered to the floor are below them. Now slowly rise to the highest possible height on toes and lower back. Do this 30 times.
- For the next exercise you will need a bottle. She will need to roll on the floor with her foot. You can wear it, but you can barefoot. This is a kind of foot massage rehearsal.
- The most enjoyable activity is foot massage. We recommend using special massagers. In the most extreme case, you can do it yourself. Believe me, there is nothing nicer. Especially for girls.
In the gym
Strengthen the joint and ligaments by doing calf exercises.
Smith's simulator is good in that it has a nut on which it is convenient to swing eggs. You can additionally put a footrest in the form of a small platform.
Stand on her socks (or on the sill). The bar must be set at such a height that you can remove it from the fixation with a slight lift to the toe.
In this simulator, you can fully lean on the bar without being afraid to fall. Do 12-15 vertical vibrations with a maximum amplitude of contraction and extension of calves. Please note, along with the calves, the entire ankle is strained.
Do the exercise in two approaches. If you swing an ankle, do an exercise with weights.
In the hack machine
Here you can swing the ankle both head up and down. Do as you prefer. But remember that you cannot completely straighten your knees. Consider the example when you take the starting position for the leg press:
- Hang the right weight. Place your feet shoulder width apart.
- Hang the heels off the platform (that is, you place your feet on its lower part so that the support is on the toes).
- Squeeze the weight, while legs do not need to be fully straightened.
- This is the starting position. We begin to raise and lower the weight due to the movement of the ankle. We press on the exhale, lower on the inhale. We do it slowly.
- 2-3 approaches of 15 times is enough.
It is more convenient for someone to do the same exercise while standing on their feet. Choose the most convenient option for you.
Pumping the ankle in the calf simulator
Very convenient machine for isolated work on the ankle:
- You are sitting and there is no load on the spine.
- You can focus on your legs, pumping the right side.
We will talk about some tricks to strengthen the ligaments and ankle joint from all sides. All the trick is in three versions of the performance of lifting on socks in the simulator. If in a standing position it is not so easy to do (or in the Hack machine), then in the simulator - just right.
- Stops parallel to each other. We do the exercise in this option 15 times, 1 approach.
- Socks unfold to each other. In this case, the outer part of the lower legs works more. Repeat the exercise 15 times in 1 set.
- Turn the socks out. The inner part of the tibia works.
Thus, due to the different position of the feet relative to each other, it is possible to pump the shin on all sides.
Ligaments are strengthened both in front of the leg and behind. More load goes to the calves, so be careful. If you overload, it will hurt for a long time, and your attempts to get out of the chair will look very funny.
Strengthening the Ankle with Nutrition
We are talking about cartilage, ligaments and muscles. Therefore, it is important to maintain their health with proper nutrition:
- preparations with calcium;
- chondroitin, glucosamine;
- unsaturated fatty acids;
- other vitamins and, of course, proteins.
The need for stretching and micro gymnastics for the legs and feet
To maintain the elasticity of the ligaments and the flexibility of the joint, regular stretching is necessary. As a rule, the ankle stretches well with a targeted stretching of the legs and lower back.
Micro gymnastics implies rotational and other movements of the foot both on the floor and in a hanging position. For example, when you watch a movie on the couch, do not be too lazy to stretch your leg this way:
- foot rotation clockwise and against it;
- traction of a sock to itself and back;
- lateral inclinations of the foot.
The same can be done in the sitting position, when your foot touches the floor.
There are many expanders for hands. Unfortunately, they did not come up with this for the legs. The way out of this situation will be the “collect buttons” exercise. While you are trying to pick them up with your foot, the muscles of your feet work well.
Sometimes, professional ballet practitioners need a strong lift design. This option is suitable for ballerinas, but it is very traumatic for untrained people. We’ll talk about how to design a sock lift.
The fact is that you need to get up not on the tips of your toes, but just like you are standing on your fists when pushing up. If we draw an analogy with the hands, then we will stand on the knuckles of the thumb and forefinger. Do you get it? We find support to hold on to the hand, and thus try to stand on one leg, and then on the other.
Such a rise is recommended exclusively for those who need it in life, for example, in ballet. The rest does not make sense to torture their feet with such things.
You can also stuff your feet according to the techniques of Thai boxers, karate. This, on the one hand, strengthens the ankle, but on the other, it can lead to injury.