Foot and Ankle Month – Week Three

We are focusing on the ankles this week. In this first stretch, we are trying to gain ankle mobility in combination with hip mobility, since both are needed for proper gait. The second exercise is a little twist on a calf raise to help you integrate the calf strength with the rest of the posterior chain.

5 Hip Openers for Better Movement

Tight hips have an impact on most of your movement, from how high you can step up, to how low you can squat down. Keeping your hips open and functional is an important piece to keeping you moving at your best, with more power and less pain.  Check out the quick video below  for 5 easy hip openers you can do before you head out for your next adventure.

  • Hip Flexor and Hamstring Rocker Stretch – This dynamic stretch helps open up the front of the hip flexor (think psoas, quads, etc.) and the posterior hip (think hamstrings, glutes, etc.). Make sure you keep you spine long and keep the stretch in the hips, not in the back. You can place a pillow under your knee if you feel discomfort at the kneecap.
  • Dynamic Butterfly Stretch – This is a “powered up” version of the traditional butterfly stretch. Make sure to keep the soles of your feet pressing together as you lift your hips so you engage your hamstrings and protect your low back.
  • Knee Dips – This move helps increase the range of motion in your hip rotation. Don’t push into a range where you feel pain in your knee. Keep a slight core engagement to help protect your back.
  • Hip Hikes – Warm up the muscles of the pelvis and lateral hip muscles with this gentle motion. Stay in a pain-free range and let your obliques (side abdominal muscles) help you “hike” the hip.
  • Pelvic Tilts – This gentle rocking motion can help relieve tension in the low back and encourage more range of motion through the pelvis.