This is an incredible hack for developing speed. However, many people either don’t know about it or choose not to do it as a way to improve their speed and power. Quite often, we hear about coaches saying that athletes need to improve their flexibility. But alot of the time, they are unclear in explaining the benefits from improving an athletes flexibility.
When it comes to improving your ankle flexion, there are clear benefits that you will notice.
- Improved range of motion
- Increase in stability and strength
- INCREASE IN SPEED
The third point is the one that you really want!
So in this post, we will share some of the things that you can do to improve your speed as a result of improving your ankle flexion.
Test the range of motion in your ankle.
See how many centimetres is in your ankle’s range of motion. If it is less than 10cm, you will need to do stretching exercises to improve the range of motion. You want to get to 15cm or more.
Stand with your front foot next to the wall. Stand with your other foot behind you and bend your body towards the wall so that your knee touches the wall. This should get your body used to the movement of having your knees in front of your ankles and also improving your range of motion.
Lower calf stretch
Put your leg behind you and keep your foot on the floor. Bend your back knee and lower into the floor. Maximise the stretch and hold it for up to 30 seconds to lengthen the muscle. Repeat this stretch 3 times on each leg.
Upper calf stretch
Have one foot in front of the other and bend forward whilst keeping your back foot on the ground. This will stretch your upper calf.
Deep squats are ideal once you have increased your ankle range. You will be able to develop additional strength and explosive power through your ankle.
To protect your back, do these initially as front squats. If you don’t have the ankle range initially, you can use weightlifting shoes or conduct the exercise on a weight plate that will give your ankles an angle, compensating for the loss in the range of motion and allowing you to keep your knees forward.
Single leg squats
To really develop the strength in your ankle, conduct deep single leg squats (or at least go as low as you can). Make sure you maintain the proper technique. This will help you develop the strength in your flexible muscle tissue.
Calf raises (gym equipment)
You can use the calf raise equipment at the gym to help lengthen your ankle’s range of motion. Simply add weight and go down into the movement. Hold it at the bottom for 15-30 seconds. Ideally, do this as a single leg exercise.
Dedicate at least 3 sessions a week for developing your ankle’s range of motion.
Until you get the range of motion that you desire, dedicate 3 sessions a week so that you improve the range of motion.
Let us know about your improvements in the comments below.