This week we are looking at the mobility in our ankles and challenging our balance…again. 😜
First, we are working on our ankle dorsiflexion with this 2-way calf stretch. This calf stretch hits the 2 muscles of our calves. First, the gastrocnemius (big one) and then the soleus (little one). It is important to our ankles and feet (and therefore the rest of our bodies) that we have flexibility in these 2 muscles. If you have trouble with your dorsiflexion, and your calf stretch isn’t making a dent, try this one out.
Then, we are testing our balance with this multi-directional dipping bird. In this version, we dip in all directions to challenge our balance, our coordination (especially our ability to weight-shift), and our brains. 🤯 We need to improve our balance in all the corners of movement, not just one. This is a good place to start exploring.
This week, we are trying a dynamic hamstring stretch. The quads are an antagonist muscle group to the hamstrings. Meaning, when you contract the front of your leg, the back relaxes. This allows you to get into a deeper hammy stretch safely and gives you a better chance of holding the new mobility.
Using your new mobility, try this literal twist of a dipping bird. Adding hip rotation to this familiar exercise will challenge your balance and your hip mobility and strength.
This week, we are going after the low squat. The low squat should not just be for the privileged few. It is one of the most useful and functional positions you can utilize. From picking up heavy things, to getting up and down from the floor, the low squat is a necessity in life. If you can’t get down there, try using some support to get down (and then stay down for a while). For starters, don’t worry about getting back up. Let your muscles and joints get used to the new position first.
We are finishing up Foundations Month with the staple exercise of the dipping bird. We have been working all month on our hinging and strengthening our posterior chain. Now, let’s challenge it with this single leg balance move.