Are you Fit to Run? - Ankle Range

Strength, flexibility and balance help you run better and avoid injury. Take these six simple tests to assess yours



by Sam Murphy

 8 of 8 
ankle range, running

Why is it important?

Restricted ankle range will increase the likelihood of overpronation and possibly up the risk of conditions such as plantar fasciitis and achilles tendinitis. What's more, it could force you to lift the heel up early, causing you to lose power through the push-off phase.

How to test it

Stand barefoot facing a wall (ideally without a skirting board). Put one foot forward and bring the knee of the front leg to touch the wall while keeping the foot pointing directly forward and the heel in contact with the floor. Don't let the foot roll inwards. Now shuffle your foot back and see if you can still maintain the position (knee in contact with the wall, heel in contact with the floor). Continue to move your foot back until you reach the furthest point at which you can achieve this. Now measure the distance between the end of your big toe and the wall. Swap sides. Compare your measurement with the scores shown below.

Distance from wall    Points
>12cm                         5
10-12cm                      4
7-9cm                          3
4-6cm                          2
1-3cm                          1

Scored 3 or less?


Your first port of call is regular calf stretching - stretch with your knee bent and straight to target the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. One way of doing this is to hang the back half of your foot off a step. Hold for 60 seconds. "As soon as you've stretched, go straight into a movement that puts the new range of motion into practice," advises Giles.

For example, you could do some 'heel-toe' walking, in which you land with the foot flexed up and then roll through to push up from the ball of the foot. If a couple of weeks of regular stretching doesn't improve your score, it's worth getting an experienced physiotherapist to investigate other possible causes of your limited ankle range


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Discuss this article

Not too sure.  Running involves a symbiotic relationship between the organic machine composed of muscles, tendons and ligaments and the ethereal consciouness that desires the sense of fluid motion that running provides. It is an artform that involves the flow of locomotor muscles whilst the agonist, antagonist and synergistic actions of stabilising muscles anonymously endevour to provide the platform for the driving momentum  On this basis it is logical that tests such as those detailed in  Kelvin Giles' Physical Competence Assessment Manual which test the integrety of the machine should provide a reliable and valid tool in assessing ones fitness to run. However, the greyness of this mortal coil invariably means that some disparity and divergence exists between the art of running and the mechanistic prediction of ability and capacity such that the various assessment tools whilst indicative they fail to be predictive. Therefore runners should always consume the fall out of such analysis with a liberal garnish that allows the contextualisation and interpretation of the tools prediction with common sense and reflection upon what those annoying and noxious signals emenating from those tingling sense organs heralding the coming of compression hosiery.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 13:58

You should meet Ricky Bennison.
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 14:16

Just what i was going to say....
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:56

Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 21:58

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Mighty Lexi wrote (see)
Ooh not meeting Ricky Bennison...the other bit.!! (who's ricky bennison

Hits head against wall...
Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:04

. wrote (see)
Hits head against wall...


Are you sure it didn't strike the wall?

<ducks>


Posted: 29/06/2011 at 22:43

Man, you need to get out more!
Posted: 30/06/2011 at 08:39

But who the heck is Ricky Bennison?

Any clues is the person a lad or ladette??? I mean is the person a man or woman?

Karen, GOOGLE it!


Posted: 01/07/2011 at 19:27

is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 21:15

eden bassy wrote (see)
is he the prisoner who run half marathon every day in his cell, then he won a gold medal at the olympics for the marathon.  when interviewed later he sad "i was very happy to run with people again" lol.

 The mind boggles!
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:12

This is Ricky

Enjoy


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:16

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy

RW gold. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:40

Oh yes
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:42

For anyone wanting skim highlights, I don't appear till page 7. 
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 22:54

Ricky Bennison wrote (see)
It occurs to that the term striking in regard to a runners landing foot insinuates a deliberate attempt to apply force to the ground. As the ambition of the landing foot is to land with minimal impact on the ground surely the term striking is a misnomer with negative potentialy harmful connotations especialy in regard to people injuring themselves by hitting the ground overly hard with there foot .


LOL it must been a full moon.

Saffy sweety pea wrote (see)

This is Ricky

Enjoy


 Turns to page seven


Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:24

Damn it the bat has returned I'm off.
Posted: 02/07/2011 at 23:40

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