The functional program will allow you to avoid 3 of the most common injuries of the foot caused by the sport practice. This is thesprain of the ankle at the level of the lateral collateral ligament, theaponévrosite arch and tendinitis of the Achilles tendon. This physical preparation will be very useful to prevent but also to treat it. Most of the exercises can be practised with caution and medical supervision during the rehabilitation after the injury. This program combines stretching, massage and manual with a hard ball, strengthening exercises in plyometrics and isometric drawings , and finally of the exercises proprioceptive balance. Strength exercises mainly concern the calf and arch of the foot but also the muscles of the lower limbs (for the goblet squat , for example) as the correction to the sagging of the arch of the foot passes through an awareness of the role of stabilizer and engine of the adductors, and back muscles in the push to the ground for the squat or for the running stride.
Movements of the ankle and foot
For convenience it is usual to distinguish between the movements of the ankle and foot but in the context of the biomechanics of human walking and running there is an obvious synergy between these two types of movements.
The movements of the ankle are in one direction due to the interlocking of the talus in the shape of a half cylinder in the clamp formed by the tibia and fibula. On this axis one can place the foot in plantar flexion or in dorsiflexion. The ankle joint can be likened to a system of tenon and mortise.
It speaks of dorsal flexion or dorsiflexion when the foot goes inwards towards the tibia. The dorsiflexion in the ankle is from 20 to 30 degrees. Plantar flexion or extension is the opposite movement : the foot goes down almost in the extension of the leg. The plantar flexion is from 30 to 50 degrees.
The movements of the foot are the eversion and inversion. The inversion is the combination of 3 movements, supination, adduction and plantar flexion. Eversion is the combination of an abduction, pronation and dorsal flexion.
Strength training of the ankle and foot
Building muscle prevents, especially, the occurrence of strains at the level of the lateral collateral ligament but also tendinitis of the Achilles tendon
To strengthen the ankle is to strengthen the calf muscles and the leg previous through balance exercises and jumps varied. At the level of the sole of the foot what are the long peroneal lateral, the short peroneal is on the side, the flexor own of the big toe and the flexor joint of the toes, which are worked on during the walk barefoot.
To develop muscles of the ankle the exercise that we have selected is also a test of balance. This test consists of, being barefoot, to fold one leg against the other, hands on the waist. It is then necessary to close the eyes and attempt to maintain this balance for as long as possible. The consultation of the following table allows an evaluation on 5 levels, taking into account the age and sex of the subject being tested. For example, the level of optimal balance (index 5) is reached from 31 seconds for a man between the ages of 20 to 29 years.
If this exercise is too easy you will be able to run by swinging the free leg on the side to be stretched or flexed
You can complicate this exercise by trying to keep in balance, always on one foot, on a surface of the increasingly unstable (mat, flexible mattress,…)
Maintain the station right on 2 feet on a trampoline, and then on a big ball, soft medicine ball, and finally on a ball gym of external assistance will also strengthen the ankle and refine the proprioceptive sensations.
The various bursts are possible with a skipping rope can strengthen the calves as well as the flexors of the toes. It will be necessary to vary the jumps in directing alternately the toes outward, then inward. Two categories of practitioners will need to refrain from jumping rope. People suffering froma herniated disc will have to absolutely avoid the jump rope because any exercise that increases the abdominal pressure, and thus the pressure on the intervertebral discs, can increase the intensity of the pain. Athletes subject to tendonitis , they interest to fully warm up and stretch before jumping rope even on a very short time.
Running and walking barefoot
Running barefoot or in minimalist shoes corrects the errors of posture and also strengthens the ankle, especially if you choose a terrain that is irregular or very soft such as sand or dirt roads. It is good to alternate walking and slow jogging in very small strides and to insert some specific exercises for walking. For example, during the walk we will scroll completely to the foot to finish in full extension on the toes.
You will even be able to walk on a few not only on the toes. We will also be able to work only on the outside edge of the foot by returning completely the foot in inversion. On a lot more aggressive and choosing to practice these awareness exercises proprioceptive with minimalist shoes, that is to say, the shoes extremely light and flexible, not compressing, not the toes and rigorously flat.
Goblet squat facing a wall
The goblet squat facing a wall is holding a load (dumbbell, ball or heavy kettlebell) at the level of the chest, bend slowly to the legs and keep the knees and the tips of feet to get off the thighs at the level of the horizontal. It is necessary to constantly keep the back straight. It will be noticed quickly by executing the squat that the transfer of the weight of the body is, of course, on the outer part of the arch without having to lift the heels and this has the effect of making it more flexible and to strengthen the ankles and make them disappear, without the intake of soles ortopédiques, the pronation of flat feet or a sagging more discreet of the arch.
This pronation must be corrected because it is the origin of the knees that come in a full flexion but also during the running stride. In addition to the inefficiency caused to the phase of propulsion of the stride, the lack of alignment between the ankle, the knee and the hip is at the origin of hip pain and premature wear of ball joints and menisci.
Jointly, the goblet squat is very effective for flexibility of the hips and toning the adductors, glutes and lower back.
Strength training of the calf
To develop muscles of her calves, a simple elevated plane is sufficient, for example a stair tread; from the right position, the movement is to go down and back, keeping your leg straight. At the end of the descent you will maintain the posture 5 seconds trying to release the tension. In full extension it will try to print some small rotations on the toes to move away and then closer to the ankles. It will complicate the exercise by positioning himself on one foot.
Stretching of the flexor muscles of the toes and the calf
These stretches are great to avoid a aponévrosite plantar but also tendinitis of the Achilles tendon
Stretching for the calf and arch of the foot
In the starting position for this exercise it is necessary to form with the body an angle of 45 degrees between the wall and the floor. One has stuck a foot in the corner of the wall and align the body from the hands to the back heel in lengthening the spine.
The exercise consists in bending the front knee and move as close as possible to the wall while lifting the chest. Keep the hips facing the wall and try to touch it with the knee. You must also press the back heel down and stretch the hip flexors, that is to say, the psoas. Repeat 5 to 10 times on each side for 1 or 2 series.
Stretch for the big toe
This stretching is more focused than the previous one. It only concerns the big toe. You will have to place the knee against the wall and stretch as much as possible the big toe pointing towards the top while holding it vertical.
Stretching for the calf
This stretch is very experienced runners. It is necessary to have a feeling of’push the ground with the heel of the straight leg. The supports are located at the level of the hands and back leg. To refine this exercise can be slightly off the back heel through the support on the front-foot and move this support on the edges and the internal and external of the foot, towards the little toe and then towards the thumb, in other words , alternating pronation and supination, before resting the heel on the ground and releasing the calf.
Massages and with a hard ball
The refinement of sensations as a result of the massage improves the viscoelastic properties of fascia plantar and, thus, allows to avoid a aponévrosite but these massages deep are also effective to gain in flexibility and, therefore, to avoid sprain and tendinitis. Will ideally a hard ball with spikes is more effective than a tennis ball to act in depth on the fascia.
Failing that, you can also perform self-massage with the thumb in targeting the pressure on the arch of the arch
Temporal organization of the program
It is impossible to offer a schedule that is unique to these exercises. According to your freedoms and your sporting activity or professional it will be possible to do stretching in the early morning or at the lunch break. The strength training exercises and balance, as well as the barefoot running pourrront be practiced twice a week in the Friday evening and Sunday morning, for example. Finally the massages and the jump rope can be made at any time. The hard ball and the rope will take up very little space and can be carried everywhere.
This article was amended on 11 June 2018 and is protected by copyright. Any reproduction is prohibited without the permission of the author Bruno Chauzi