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.
For our final week, we are going to work on getting into our low squat. This is a helpful position to have in your back pocket in case you need to move from the ground to your feet, or if you need to get your hips under a heavy object to lift it up.
We are also going to work on our “Dipping Bird” exercise. 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.
This month we will be working on exercises that help with jumping and other dynamic movement. To start off, let’s open up our hips in an active way and the use a variation on a bridge to help engage the posterior chain of the body.