Saturday, 8 August 2015

Ankle Stability For Better Balance

Ankles together heels apart

Trouble with balance?  Could it be you need to develop more ankle stability? 

The opening sequence I teach is great for improving ankle stability, something most people find a challenge.

In the video below I show a deceptively simple looking heel raising/lowering combined with knee bending/straightening sequence.

When I practice these I am also doing spinal movement along with shoulder and wrist movement.  But, for the sake of 'zeroing in' on what is going on around the feet I just videoed my feet.  

At the end of this post I have posted a link to show what the rest of the body could be doing. 

In the video below there are a few key actions I focus on.  One of the main ones is to lift my outer feet towards my outer ankles.  An instruction you could think of is to keep your ankles together but heels apart. 

I maintain this as I raise the heels.

I also grip with my toes as I raise the heels.

Lastly, I try to be firm behind my knees as I bend and straighten the knees.


This is much harder than it looks, primarily because most people are weak in lifting their outer feet towards their outer ankles and their heels tend to come together as shown below.

Here the heels come together--this is what I try to avoid.
In the video above I showed some variations where you can (1) raise heels, bend knees, straighten knees; (2) raise heels, bend knees, lower heels, straighten knees; (3) bend knees, raise heels, straighten knees, lower heels.

I did all of these while trying to maintain ankles together and heels apart, as reinforced again in the picture below.

Key action of ankles together, heels apart.
I learned these movements from Yoga Synergy teachers and physiotherapists Simon Borg Olivier and Bianca Machliss.  They are integral to the opening of the Yoga Synergy sequences and help you build ankle stability for the standing balances that are so common in the rest of the sequence. 

Here is a link to show these actions in the context of the opening sequence of whole body movements: http://yogacafecanberra.blogspot.com.au/2015/07/5-minute-spinal-movement-sequence.html
  
Note that in that video I did the same actions in the feet but just with feet apart as I alternate feet together and feet apart when I practice. 

Remember, these posts are intended for my students who come to class.  I do not advocate using from the internet as the main source of learning. 

Happy and safe practicing.



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